History

Ramabai Ranade The late Smt. Ramabai Ranade – whose birth centenary was celebrated in India on January 25, 1962 – was born in January 1862 in a small village in Sangli District near Pune. Her father had not imparted education to her. Educating Girls was a taboo in those days. As a little girl of 11 years she was married to Shri Mahadev Govind Ranade, a pioneer in the social reform movement. He devoted all his apparel time to educate her in face of all opposition of the women in the house and helped her to become an ideal wife and a worthy helpmate in social and educational reform.

After marrying Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ramabai studied Marathi, English and Bengali. Before marriage her name was Yamuna and became ‘Rama’ after marriage. Inspired by her husband, Rama started ‘Hindu Ladies Social Club’ in Mumbai to develop public speaking among women. Ramabai was also the president of Seva Sadan in Pune. Ramabai devoted her life for the improvement of women’s lives. Ramabai Ranade opened famous girl’s school in Pune “Hujurpaga”. She wrote her memoirs in a book Amachya Ayushyatil Athavani.

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Ramabai made her entry into public life in the 1870s but it was after Justice Ranade’s death in 1901 that she wholly identified herself with the cause of women in India. She willingly became a regular visitor to the Central Prison, especially the women’s wing, and kindle self-esteem. She attended meetings of the managing committee of the mental asylum. Savitribai Jyotirao Phule Savitribai Jyotirao Phule (January 3, 1831 – March 10, 1897) was a social reformer, who, along with her husband, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, played an important role in improving women’s rights in India during the British Rule.

Savitribai was the first female teacher of the first women’s school in India and also considered as the pioneer of modern Marathi poetry. [2] In 1852 she opened a school for Untouchable girls. SavitriBai set up a school on 1st May 1847 in a backward community. This was their first school. A year later a school was started in Bhide Wada in Pune. The first school had stopped working abruptly due to lack of acceptability for education for lower caste people in those days.

However, apart from all these oppositions, Savitribai yet continued to teach the girls. Whenever Savitribai went out of her house, groups of orthodox men would follow her and abuse her in obscene language. They would throw rotten eggs, cow dung, tomatoes and stones at her. She would walk meekly and arrive at her school. Fed up with the treatment meted out to her, she decided to give up. But it was because of her husband that she continued with her efforts. Raja Ram Mohun Roy

Raja Ram Mohun Roy (14 August 1774 – 27 September 1833), was an Indian religious, social, and educational reformer who challenged traditional Hindu culture and indicated the lines of progress for Indian society under British rule. He is sometimes called the “Maker of Modern India”. He, along with Dwarkanath Tagore and other Bengalis, founded the Brahmo Sabha in 1828, which engendered the Brahmo Samaj, an influential Indian socio-religious reform movement during the Bengal Renaissance. His influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration, and education, as well as religion.

He is known for his efforts to abolish sati, the Hindu funeral practice in which the widow immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, and child marriage. Roy was born in Radhanagore, Hooghly, Bengal, in August 1772[4] or 22 May 1774,[5] into the Rarhi Brahmin caste of Sandilya Gotra (family name Bandyopadhyay ). His family background displayed religious diversity; his father Ramkanto Roy was a Vaishnavite, while his mother Tarinidevi was from a Shaivite family. This was unusual for Vaishanavites did not commonly marry Shaivites at that time.

Thus, one parent wanted him to be a scholar, a sastrin, while the other wanted him to have a career dedicated to the laukik, which was secular public administration. Gopal Ganesh Agarkar Gopal Ganesh Agarkar (14 July 1856 – 17 June 1895) was a social reformer, educationist, thinker from Maharashtra, India during the British rule. A close associate of Lokamanya Tilak, he was a co-founder of the renowned educational institutes like New English School, the Deccan Education Society and Fergusson College along with Lokamanya Tilak, Vishnushastree Chiplunkar and others.

He was the first editor of the weekly Kesari and founder and editor of periodical Sudhaarak. He was the second Principal of Fergusson College and served that post from August-1892 till his death Gopal Ganesh Agarkar was born in a Karhade Brahman family on 14 July 1856 in Tembhu, a Thembu village in Satara district now in Sangli district of Maharashtra. Agarkar had his primary education from Karad (till 3rd Standard, English medium). In 1878, he got his B. A. degree followed by later M. A. in 1880.

Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and Lokamanya Tilak were close associate. Tilak hailed from a financially well-off family, while Agarkar was born in indigence. His financial condition was so bad that he used to study in the light of streetlamps during his college days, owned a single shirt, and never would ride a train or car for traveling. Ideological conflicts eventually led to a parting of these two social reformers. Agarkar expired unexpectedly on 17 June 1895. His death was attributed to Asthma. Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk.

He was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world and was credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Swami Vivekananda showed an inclination towards spirituality and God realization. His guru, Ramakrishna, taught him Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism); that all religions are true and that service to man was the most effective worship of God.

After the death of his guru, Vivekananda became a wandering monk, extensively touring the Indian subcontinent and acquiring first-hand knowledge of conditions in India. He later travelled to the United States and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in America, England and Europe. He established the Vedanta societies in America and England. In America Vivekananda became India’s spiritual ambassador.

His mission there was the interpretation of India’s spiritual culture and heritage. He also tried to enrich the religious consciousness of Americans through the teachings of the Vedanta philosophy. In India Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint of modern India and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day. In Swami Vivekananda’s own words, he was “condensed India”. William James, the Harvard philosopher, called Vivekananda the “paragon of Vedantists”. Rabindranath Tagore’s suggestion was– “If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing

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