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PMC seeks Bharat Ratna for social pioneers Savitribai, Jyotirao Phule

A resolution to urge the union government to declare Bharat Ratna to the social reformer couple was passed by PMC. A request has now been forwarded to the state and Centre.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: March 19, 2021 11:47:06 am
Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has passed a resolution urging the union government to declare posthumous Bharat Ratna, highest civilian award, to social reformer couple Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule for being pioneers of women education in the country.

A resolution to urge the union government to declare Bharat Ratna to the social reformer couple was tabled by Congress leader Ulhas Bagul in the general body meeting and was unanimously passed with support of all the political parties. The resolution of request would now be forwarded to the state and union government.

Jyotirao Phule, born in 1827 and died in 1890, worked towards eradication of untouchability and caste system while taking efforts in educating women while Savitribai Phule, born in 1831 and died in 1897, contributed in promoting women education in the country.

The Satyashodhak Samaj, society of Truth seekers, was formed under Jyotirao’s leadership to ensure equal rights for people from exploited castes and upliftment of the oppressed class. They also started the first girls school in 1848 in Pune at Bhidewada.

“The PMC is the first civic body in the country to pass a resolution demanding Bharat Ratna to social reformers Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule,” said Ulhas alias Abba Bagul, leader of Congress in PMC, who tabled the resolution in the general body.

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As of now, Veteran educationist Maharishi Dhondo Keshav Karve and classical singer Pandit Bhimsen Joshi from the city are the recipients of the Bharat Ratna. The citizens of PMC have an emotional connection with the social work of Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule. Their house is conserved as a national monument. The PMC has also built a memorial of Jyotirao Phule in the premises of civic headquarters and memorials of the couple have been built in various places across the country.

The name of Savitribai Phule has been given to Pune university. There are scholarships started in their name but they have not been conferred the Bharat Ratna. “The resolution has now been passed in the general body meeting of PMC. It would be forwarded to the state government so that they can recommend the same to the union government,” Bagul said.

“The request is to declare Bharat Ratna to both Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule, “he said adding, “If both of them are declared Bharat Ratna then they would be the first couple to get the highest civilian award of the country. Moreover, this will be an inspiration to those working for equality of all and will contribute in maintaining social unity.”

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