H.R.Phonsa Chartered Engineer (I)
BE.(Civil) MIE, LMIRC ,FIV(INDIA) ( -0191-2432712,9419134060/93136
Ex. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER OFF/ Residence
#63/5 NANAK NAGAR, JAMMU TAWI 180004.
Recipient of Email:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
i)Dr. Ambedkar National Award 2012.
(ii)Dr. B.R. Ambedkar State Award ( J&K State) 1994
ii) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Distinguished Service Award 2003
iii( Babu Jagjivan Ram centenary state( J&K) Award
iv) Dr B.R. Ambedkar Plaque of Honour 2009, 2011
v) Ashoka Mitra Award 2012
Author of a) Dr Ambedkar and His Associates.
b) Jivan aur Sikhsha Sadguru Sain Ji Maharaj( Hindi)
Spokesman the Bhartiya Dalit Sahitya Akademy Delhi, J&K ( Regd)
On the eve of International Women’s Day 2020
Contribution of Dalit Women in different fields
MADAM SAVITRI BAI PHULE ,THE FIRST WOMAN TEACHER IN INDIA
(Published in Daily Excelsior and The States Times Jammu on 3-01-2020
Mata Savitribai Phuley the first women known in the Indian history which lived and died for the social upliftment of down trodden including women. She was born on 3rd of January 1831 in Naya Ganj , Tehsil Khandala ,District Satara of Maharashtra. Her father’s was Khado Ji Nevse Patil . At the time of her birth, no body could realize that the small ray of light which had descended on the earth in the form of Savitribai shall become a torch bearer for many suppressed, illiterate including women and a sky lightening for suppressors and oppressors inflicting tyranny in the name of caste and sex, on millions belonging to their own country and religion.
At an age of 9 years in 1840, she was married to Jyotirao Phule, who was then 13 years old. The union of two small lights later emerged as a big Light House for millions of their fellow countrymen and pulled them out of their illiteracy inflicted ignorance on them resulting in their poverty and their low caste added to their miseries. The couple fought for the human rights for down trodden people including women of India to make them to live with dignity. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule proclaimed that illiteracy the ill of all ills causes lack of intellect which in turn causes lack of moral which results in stagnation, promoting further loss of riches and fortune. This brings dooms days to society. As harsh Hindu religious laws barred shudras and woman from education reducing them to a level even worse than animals. So to regain their lost dignity and social status Phule duo gave preference to impart education to them.
The Education to Savitribhai was imparted at home and also she was sent for training in teaching at Mitchell’s school in Pune where she performed very well and remained successful as per her husband plans. Mahatama Phule had passed his Secondary Education Examination in 1847 from Scottish Mission High School Poona and had decided not to accept any job under the government. He read Paine’s famous book “The Rights of Man” which revolutionized the young mind of Jyotirao Phule and he in turn influenced the tender mind of Savitribhai.Both took oath to stand by each other for Social Revolution even at the cost of her life and comforts. They faced hard life ordeals to help those to whom even God did not care.
They opened first Girl’s School on 1st January,1848 against the vicious campaign launched by orthodox upper caste Hindus for their this act as education to girls was coded as unlawful in the law codes of orthodox Hindus . Nine girl students with two from untouchable castes got admission in this school. No upper caste Hindu teacher came forward to teach. Therefore, Mahatama Phule appointed Savitribai as Headmistress of this school. This school was run from the house of a Brahmin in Budhwara Peth, with majority of Brahmin girl students. The orthodox Brahmins raised a great hue & cry against carrying on women education including those of Shudra girls, which stood banned by the Hindu scripture. As soon as Savitribai came out from her house to go to school, people would throw on her cow dung and mud spoiling here dress, which she washed at the school and at her residence. But ill treatment meted out to her by upper caste Hindus did not deter her from her strong convictions and she carried on with the noble cause for the social change. She, instead, opened another school on 15th May 1848 in untouchable’s colony and it was run by her widowed sister –in-law (husband ‘s sister) Smt. Suganabai. On this again the reactionaries, raised objections and threatened Govinda Rao (Jyotirao ’s father) with dire consequences, if, he failed to dissociate himself from the activities of his son & daughter-in-law.So the couple left their home to continue their missionary endeavor. Both shifted to a Muslim Mian Usman Sheikh’s house. Smt. Fatima Sister of Mian Sheikh known as first Muslim women teacher of 18th century started educating Dalit children in this school opened by a Hindu Dalit couple. This was an extremely difficult task during those days of Brahmin domination. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule blamed the British Government for spending profusely a large portion of the state revenue on the education of the higher castes, which resulted in monopoly of all higher offices under the Government by the Brahmins. The dedicated couple wanted to break this monopoly so as to prepare the down trodden masses for struggle of having equal rights as human beings in their motherland. Jyotirao Phule for the first time , made strong demand in memorandum submitted to Hunter Commission in 1882 for free & compulsory education to all. This plea was accepted on the instance of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and incorporated in the Constitution of Free India in 1950. 880 words
Phuley Couple also opened first and unique by a Hindu, a care centre for pregnant rape victims and aided deliver their baby. The care centre was called “Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha”. Here the first Brahmin widow Kashi Bai gave birth to a male child in 1873 ,child was named Yaswant, Phuley couple educated him as doctor and adopted him as their heir. They opposed age old Sati system , Child marriage and supported widow re-marriage. They convinced the Maharashtra Barbars to stop shaving heads of widows and they got full support. They granted scholarships to needy students to arrest school drop outs. In 1876-77 famine they cared about 200 children free of cost. She used to carry patients personally to the clinic of her son Yashuwant who treated them free.
Savitribai was not only an educationist but a great philanthropist, social revolutionary, writer and poet. She published Kavya Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892, and also a poem entitled "Go, Get Education" Her poetry book first published in 1854 was titled as “KABYE PHULE” .In one of her poems she makes out that the British succeeded in establishing their rule in India due to denial of Educational opportunities by the Aryans to the original inhabitants of India.After the death of her husband in November 1890, she successfully managed for seven years the affairs of “SATYA SHODAK-SAMAJ” established by her husband to look after the needs of unfortunate children. While carrying personally a cholera ridden Mahar boy to the clinic of her son and to get him admitted there, she got infected and died of cholera on the 10th of March 1897.To honour her works in 2015, the University of Pune was renamed as Savitribai Phule, a postal stamp was released by India Post on 10 March 1998 and even Google search engine carried Savitribai Google doodle on 3 January 2019.
We salute the iron lady who struck hard to break the shackles of religious progeny, caste and dynasty to establish social order of Universal Brotherhood. She was first Indian women leader, who worked for the upliftment & dignity of women & children and was a staunch opponent of orthodox laws including Untouchability. She was mother to helpless orphans, a teacher to illiterates and solace to ill and suffering masses. She deserved to be honored with Bharat Ratna for being “Mother of Women Education in India”
Outstanding brave Dalit women.
Not only Dalits gents have a track record of bravery in the Indian History but the Dalit women also prove to be great warriors. Among the few Dalit women warriors were many who created rare Example in our history. While upper caste histories, generally partial writer, highlight the contributions of upper caste heroines like Rani Jhansi,but completely ignored velour of dalit heroes and heroines who also fort in the first war of independence british colony rule
Jalkaribai Kori who faught along with her husband Puran Kori bravely to resist entry of British forces in Jhansi in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny or “ First War for Independence of India”. When Rani Jhansi had to quit Jhansi along with her foster son,Jalkaribai Kori Commander of “Estri Vehni” Or Women command so resisted enemy of over 20,000 british soliders. She was captures and then killed. On the bravery of Jalkaribai Kori the British General Hugh Rose said on 4th June, 1858 that if even one per cent of Indian women were like Jhalkari; the British would soon have to leave India.
Mata Lajo another brave Dalit woman was wife of brave Mata Din Bhangi . She worked as a laborer in arms factory Barrik Pur Chawni 16 miles from Kolkata (then Calcutta) informed his husband that the riffle rounds being manufactured in the factory carry a coating of cow and pig fat mixture, which had to be cut by teeth before using them to fire. When Mangal Panday a Brahman Sepoy objected of taking water from earthen pot by Mata Din Bhangi on caste based untouchabilty ,Mata Din replied tauntingly to Mangal Panday “ Shame on your High caste which gets polluted by touch of an untouchable Indian but are not polluted by cutting your riffle rounds with you teeth which have coating of cow and pig fate mixture” This shoke Mangal Pandey to the core and he revolted against this action of British, so started army revolt. Salute to the brave Bhangi and Bhangan (Now safai Karmacharies) who ignited first fire flash for 1857 Sepoy Mutiny or “ First War for Independence of India”.
Mahaveeri Devi Bhangi :-
Mahaveeri Devi Bhangi another greate Dalit woman warrior Dalit woman of 1857 war for Independence . She had made a group of 23 women of his area and when the British Army attacked Mujjaffar Nagar to occupy it,these brave Dalit women resisted the attack and killed a large number of British sioliders using local agriculture tools like GANDASSA and KANTEYS.Then British army opened fire and killed these brave freedom fighter Dalit women warrioers.
Verangany Jagrani Passi(Chamar) :-
She was hero of “ Beligard Kranti “ who killed a large number of British soliders at sakander Bagh near SIMMER tree in August 1857. The Company made Lucknow as its important centre. The British officers were residing at Beligard Residency . Residents of Beligard used to trouble the Passi tribe,who were expect in exploding land mines. On 10August 1857 Beligard was attacked under command of General Barkat Ahmed with Passi soliders in large number. The battle continued for three days and the British entrapped in Residercy got frightened. But mean while British forces reached chinhat from Kanpur side under command of Mr. Havlock. Near Banthara Begam Hazrat Mehal faced them, but she got wounded.She was removed from battle field by her Army Commonder Man Singh and Prince Jia Lal. Near Sikander Bagh a firce battle was going on and Dalit women soliders were being killed while facing British forces. The lady soliders were attaching enemy like wild cats and any body could hardly imagine it they were men or women siliders. Here.
Jagrani Passi (Chamar):-
killed a large number of enemy soliders.She was fired upon and was killed in battle field while facing enemy. Unfortunately the Beligard revolution failed .More than 220 soliders were killed another 150 got wounded .
Nanibai a Dalit:-
prostitute was also daughter of a prostitute named Bhagtan. Kanshi( now Banaras, Varanasi) and Mathure have remained centers of prostitutes and sadhus. It was said to have Sadhus and widows and their children were called Bhagatan out of her prostitution profession earning. She built Lady Harding Medical College and Government High School Jodhpur from her earning from prostitution profession.
Panna Dai :
Mata Panna Dai was barber (Nai) maid of Rani Karnavati, wife of Maharana Sangram Singh. Panna Dai helped Karnavti on political matters, as well as upbringing her sons, Vikramaditya Singh and infant Udai Singh. In the early 16th century, Vikramaditya succeeded the throne from his brother Rana ratan singh II.She saved the life of Udhay Singh (1522-1572) and he rulled over Mewar from (1540-1572) and founded Udipur city now in Rajesthan. When udhay singh was child his father Maharana Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga) had engages Panna Daia maid to care and rare Udhay Singh. Maharana Sangram Singh had one Vanbir a unscrupulous courtier ,who had ambitious to become king of Mewar. He corrupted many other confidents of Maharana Sanga. To achieve his ambitions he planned to kill infant Udai Singh. This plan was secretly revealed to Panna Dai by one confident of Vanvir . Panna Dai had her son of the age of Udhay Singh. When Vanbir came to kill Udhay Singh she placed her own son in place of prince Udhay Singh. Vanbir killed her son so Uday Singh was saved. She even reached the place where Udhay Singh was to cremated to hid her plan to save Udhay Singh. Panna Dai saw her son’s killing and in a pool of blood without a tear in her eyes to save her master’s son When Udhay Singh became king he declared Panna Dai as Raj Mata Such bravery examples are rare in history.
Dalit Veer Bala Udo Devi or Uda Devi Passi
was a warrior in the Indian First war of Independence of 1857, who fought against the British forces then called East India Company Forces. like Many other Dalit women worriers Udo Devi participants and today remembered as one among many the warrior or “Dalit Veeranganas” of the 1857 Indian Rebellion.There was all-round rising anger of the Indian people against the British administration. There was war between British forces and Awad forces in 1857 at Chinhat ( nearly 16 Kilometers from Lucknow). Among the many Indian soliders killed included Uda Devi’s husband Shri Macca Passi. On this Udo devi reached out to Begum Hazrat Mahal to enlist her for war. In order to prepare for the battle Begum helped her form a women’s battalion under her command. When the British attacked Awadh Uda Devi unleashed her final campaign with full force. Battle of Sikandar BaghUda Devi took part in the Battle in Sikandar Bagh in November 1857. The brave women warriors of battalion were attacking enemy like wild cats. After issuing instructions to her battalion, Udo Devi climbed up a peepal tree which had drinking water pitchers( Water-Pio) under it . When British soldiers came to take water she attacked them and killed 36 British soliders. Captain Dassan of British force saw his solider’s dead bodies in pool of blood. On seeing up side he saw a figure of a solider and fired . Down came a soldier in wearing a red jacket. The jacket opened during falling and British Capitan found a lady’s body. The British Captain regretted to have killed a lady solider. Uda Devi was armed with a pair of heavy old-pattern cavalry pistols, one of which was in her belt still loaded, and her pouch was still about half full of ammunition, while from her perch in the tree, which had been carefully prepared before the attack. On reaching British General Capwell Udo Devi was buried there under the Peepal tree. On November 16 every year greatful nation commemorates the anniversary of Uda Devi's martyrdom. Statue of Udo Devi stands erected in road crossing near Sikander Bagh. The Union Communication Minister Sh.Ram Bilas Paswan on 16 November 2000 issued Veer Bala Udo Devi’s commemorative postal stamp .
Veer Bala Rani Avantibai or Avanti Bai lodhi (16th August 1831 to20th March 1858).
Veer Bala Rani Avantibai was a freedom fighter during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. She was daughter of Rao Jujjar Singh of Mankandi( Mankehni) in District Simri now in MP. Rao Jujjar Singh was a big land lord and belonged to Dalit Lodhi Rajput caste (now OBC) . Avantibai got education in Mankheni and in her childhoof she had gained expertise in marshal arts including horse ridding. She was married to Raja Vikramajeet of Ramgarh . Raja Vikramajeet was son of Raj Singh and grand son of Raja Gajj Singh. On death of his father in 1850 Vikramajeet ascended thrown. He was deeply religious person and kept him mostly busy with religious matters. So Rani Avantibai had to mostly run the state administration matters. Vikramajeet and Avantibai had two sons namely Sher Singh and Aman Singh. Unfortunately Vikramajeet died an early death Vikramajeet and so his minor son Aman Singh was made to occupy thrown as king. Now Avatibai had to shoulders full responsibilities of administrating the kingdom. This was not approved by Company Raj under “Court of Wards” and appointed a tehsildar as administer of Dindori in Madhya Pradesh, which was then called Ramgarh. Avantibai felt humiliated and opposed it deciding to defend her state against Company take over. She also dismissed administrator appointed by Company This was not taken kindly Company administration . This was clear re- bolt against Company. Since she was treating her public as her family so she was assured full support from them. At that time whole India was revolting against the East India and Avantibai joined it too. Rani Avanti had a strong committed force of 4000 soliders. Her first battle with the British took place in the village of Kheri near Mandla, where she and her army were able to defeat the British forces under captain Wishigton. Brish army being no match to Rani’s forces the British army lost battle toRani. With a single sword she cut Wishigton horse was cut into two parts. Captian along with British forces ran hither dither. However, stung by the defeat the British came back with vengeance and launched an attack on Ramgarh. Avantibai moved to the hills of Devharigarh for safety. The British army set fire to Ramgarh, and turned to Devhargarh to attack the queen. Avantibai resorted to guerilla warfare to fend of the British army. She committed suicide with her sword on 20 March 1858 when facing almost certain defeat in battle.After independence, Avantibai has been remembered through performances and folklore.Her story merited a brief inclusion in the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) history textbooks from 2012 as a participant in the 1857 rebellion, after parliamentary protests from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The BSP, in particular, had broght in glory has brought her sacrifice glory to four The Narmada Valley Development Authority named a part of the Bargi Dam project in Jabalpur in the honour Of 'Rani Avantibai' India Post has issued two stamps in honour of Avantibai, on 20 March 1988 and on 19 September 2001. She will be long remembered by the great full Nation.
Phoolan Devi (10 August 1963 – 26 July 2001)
Phoolan Devi popularly known as "Bandit Queen", was an Indian brave Dalit woman ,who revolted against her poverty and low caste hate treatments including, sexual and other exploitation by upper caste Thakurs( Zamindars,Landlords) including police. She tried to escape from the Bandit ravines but was every time picked up by one or the other Thakur Badit. She did not join bandit gang to earn money but to resist the upper castes people excesses against Dalits. She was made to walk naked in the village, merciless beaten blue and black a number of times. Latter she became bandit queen of Bundelkhand and Chambal ravines.
She was born into a poor family Mallah (Ferry-man) Caste in rural Uttar Pradesh. Phoolan was born in the small village of Ghura Ka Purwa on banks of Yamuna river in Jalaun District, Uttar Pradesh. She was the fourth and youngest child of Shimati Moola Devi and her husband Devi Din Mallah. Only she and her one older sister survived to adulthood. Phoolan endured poverty, child marriage and had an abusive child marriage before taking to a life of crime. The upper caste Thakurs took as their birth right to enjoy the youth of Dalit Mallah women. In Phoolan’s own words “ Tum Jessi Londian Paidda hi hamarey liye hoti hain. Tumhari Jawani Ki pehli Soogat Hamarey Liye Hai --- Jayo Aur Pusho Appni Jatt Ki Londiaon Se. Gavon Ka Har Gabroo Jawan To Kaya Bapp Ki Ummar Ka Thakur Tak Hamey Apni Jaggir Samjatta Hai. Polis Ka Alla Afsar Se Ley Kar Sopay Tak Hamain Apni Rakhel Banna Kar Rakhatta Hai. Mallahon Ke Ghar Larki Kaya Paidda Huyi,Maa –Bapp Ki Shamat Hi AA Gayi Aur Samanton Ke Mann Harshatey Hain” Meaning Young girls like you are born for us, you are for our first offering go and ask young girls of your caste. Not only every young Tathur even man of the age of our father takes us as their property. Not to speak of a senior police officer even a sepoy takes us as their Rakhail (Kept woman, free Love bird). A girl born in Mallah brings misfortune and tragedy to her parents. But a enjoying figer for Samant9 Zagirdars). But Phoolan tried to resist and revolt all this with her might. Having developed major differences with her parents and her husband alike, the teenage Phoolan sought escape by running away and joining a gang of bandits. She was the only woman in that gang, and her relationship with one gang member, coupled with caste difference, caused a gunfight between gang members. Phoolan's lover was killed in that gunfight. The victorious rival faction, who were Rajputs, took Phoolan who to their village of Behmai, confined her in a room, and took turns to rape her repeatedly over weeks. After escaping, Phoolan rejoined the remnants of her dead lover's faction who were gangs of Mallaah, took another lover from among those men, and continued with banditry. A few months later, her new gang descended upon the village of Behmai to take revenge for what she had suffered. As many as twenty-two Rajput men belonging to that village were shot dead by Phoolan. Her act of revenge was portrayed by some press as an act of righteous rebellion. The press respectfully addressed as Devi'. Phoolan evaded capture for two years after the massacre. As she had not taken robbery by choice but was forced into this trade by undue and unnatural atrocities by Thakurs and men in police uniform, she always wanted to come out of the Jungle life and live a decent life, which was snatched from her in her childhood. An unarmed police chief met her at a rendezvous in the Chambal ravines. They traveled to Bhind in Madhya Pradesh, where she laid down her rifle before the portraits of Gandhi and Goddess Durga. she surrendered and her few surviving gang-members surrendered to the Madhaya Pradesh police in 1983 before Arjun Singh the Chief Minister on the insistence of Indra Gandhi Indian Prime Minister. The onlookers included a crowd of around 10,000 people and 300 policemen. She surrendered on the following agreed conditionswith a promise that the death penalty would not be imposed on any member of her gang who surrenders
1. The term for the other members of the gang should not exceed eight years.
2. A plot of land to be given to her
3. Her entire family should be escorted by the police to witness her surrender ceremony
She was charged with 48 crimes, including multiple murders, plunder, arson and kidnapping for ransom. Phoolan spent the next eleven years in jail, as the various charges against her were tried in court. In 1994, the state government headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party summarily withdrew all charges against her, and Phoolan was released. She then stood for election to parliament as a candidate of the Samajwadi Party and was twice elected to the Lok Sabha as the member for Mirzapur. In 2001, she was shot dead at the gates of her official bungalow (allotted to her as MP) in New Delhi by former rival bandits whose kinsmen had been slaughtered at Behmai by her gang. The 1994 film Bandit Queen (made around the time of her release from jail) is loosely based on her life until that point. She will be long remembered as an iron Dalit woman who had courage to take a spade as a spade. Instead of helplessly weeping on her fate she revenged the wrong doers.
Dr.Ambedkar as Indian women emancipator
If there was any person who secured the rights of Laborers in India, the person was none other than “Father of Modern India” & Revolutionary Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Without Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, today the future of India Labors would have been in pitch darkness. He is the only leader in India who was multi-dimensional and a great visionary. Besides many revolutionary steps taken by him he worked for the Indian women in many ways. Since majority women workers were engaged as labourers in factories as unorganised so were exploited by employers. Dr Ambedkar as Labour Member in Viceroy’s Council ( 1942-46). He got Organised the 7th session of Indian Labor Conference in New Delhi, November 27, 1942. This helped the labour in the following ways incl. women labour.
Ø Reduction of Labour hours from 14 hours to 8 hours
Ø Minimum wage Act and revision of pay scales
Ø Health Insurance Scheme.
Ø Many laws for Women Labors in Mines.
Ø Provident Fund Act including workers working in Coals and Mines.
Ø Factory Amendment Act.
Ø Labor Disputes Act.
Ø Made provisions for legalisation of Strikes by labours for dispute resolutions
Ø Mines Maternity Benefit Act
Ø Women Labor welfare fund
Ø Women and Child, Labor Protection Act
Ø Maternity Benefit for women Labor
Ø Restoration of Ban on Employment of Women on Underground Work in Coal Mines,
Ø Indian Factory Act.
Ø National Employment Agency (Employment Exchange) establishment
Ø Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar set up an Advisory Committee to advise on matters labour welfare schemes.
Ø arising out of the Labor Welfare under B P Agarkar. Later he promulgated it on January, 1944.
Ø Dearness Allowance (DA) to Workers.
Ø Leave Benefit to Piece Workers.
Ø Revision of Scale of Pay for Employees.
Ø Coal and Mica Mines Provident Fund
Besides all these efforts to liberate Indian women labor Dr. Ambedkar burnt on 25th December 1927Hindu Law Book Manusmiriti which had robbed Indian women of all their human rights and had reduced them to the level of foot shoe of men. When Dr.Ambedka’s efforts to get passed “The Hindu Code Bill” in Parliament due to stiff opposition by Caste Hindus in and out of Parliament.Dr.Ambedxkar resigned from his Cabinet berth in the Nehru’s Ministry.
The Dalit women took part in Baba Sahib’s liberation movements. Dalit women joined in large number the historic Chavdar Tale Satyagraha for exerting their right to takewater( March, 1927) , Kalaram temple entry satyagraha( March1930) to have equal right to worship in Hindu temples. At both these places caste Hindus attacked untouchables and Dalit women saved Dr. Ambedkar’s life from Lathies blows. Dr.Ambedkar was injured in fight with caste Hindus. Life sketches of a few daring Dalit ladies who stood by Baba Sahib in his life struggle and also of Mrs. Savita Ambedkar ,a Saraswati Brahman to whom Baba Sahid had remarried after his poise wife mata Ramabai.
Dr .Ambedkar Karvan’s Women Members.
AMBEDKAR SMT. MATA RAMA BAI (RAMA)
It is said rightly, "Behind every successful man there is a woman". It was so in the case of Goswami Tulsidass, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Tilak, Gandhi, Veer Savarkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, and Dr. B R Ambedkar and may other personalities who made history of sorts. The success of Dr. Ambedkar hadincalculable contribution of his noble wife Smt.Rama Bhai Ambedkar. She was intelligent, kind, poise, obedient, chaste, religious, and possessed with high character besides having simplicity of style and taste. These saintly women although lived in extreme poverty but without a whisper of complaint on her face always turning her eyes towards God for the safety and prosperity of her husband. She was gentle by temperament, sober in manners, weak in constitution but modest in speech. Revered Ramabai a sober and good girl came from a good but poor family. She was the second daughter of Shri Bhiku Walandkar, a resident of Walang village near Dapoli, Konkan in central India. Shri Bhiku Walandkar worked as a porter at Dopli. He used to carry fish loads on his head from seaside to the bazaar. His earning was so meager that he could hardly make both ends meet. Dapoli is a place where child Bhim was admitted in his first school when he was 5 years old, as his father Subedar Ramji Sakpal had migrated there after his retirement. Ramabai was born in 1898. Her childhood name was Ramibhai and she had two sisters Gorabhai, Meerabhai, and one brother named Shanker Dhutrey. Shanker Dhutrey also called Shanker Walangkar worked in a press. These unfortunate children lost first their mother and after some time their father too in childhood and were brought up by their maternal and parental uncle in Bombay (now Mumbai). Bhima later called Bhimrao Ramj i Dass Ambedkar and Ramibai (later Ramabai) were married when they were 16 years and 9 years old respectively: The marriage ceremony was performed shortly after Bhim passed his matriculation examination. The marriage pandal was an open shed of the Byculla Fish market in Bombay, after the day market was closed. At night, the bridegroom and his relatives were lodged in one spacious corner of the open shed, with Ramabai's relatives in another corner. The small stone platforms in the market served as benches where a small gutter of dirty water flowed underneath their feet. The marriage place was vacated in the early morning before sunrise toenable the merchants to carry their daily business. Ramibai was renamed Ramabai after marriage and later earned the distinction of being called Mata Ramabai Ambedkar.Ramabai Ambedkar was illiterate at the time of her marriage but her husband later taught her simple reading and writing. Educationally there was world of difference between the two but they loved and respected each other from the core of their heats. Love, faith, sincerity, sacrifice and understanding between the two persons formed unbreakable chain to live happily despite both being educationally poles a parts. Bhim used to call his wife affectionately as "Ramu" and she called him "Sahib". She was deeply proud of her husband and Bhim respected her immensely. Dr. Ambedkar was always busy in reading and could devote very little time for household affairs. At times she used to press her Sahib's feet in the evening, when he was reading and she slept on the floor under his feet. Ramabai ensured that nobody disturbed him during his study or working. She abundantly cared for the health and welfare of her husband.When Ambedkar was in America, she lived a life of destitute but without any regret. It is rare historical example of courage and conviction of a wife who used to make cow dung cakes and carry them on her head, to use them as cheap household fuel. This she did despite taunts from neighboring women. Her husband was also in acute financial crisis who was struggling to obtain world's highest academic degrees (including Doctorate of Science) in foreign lands. Despite financial crisis for studies and at home Ambedkar became Barrister reinforced by a London Doctorate of Science, an American Doctorate in Philosophy and Studied in Bonn University, which reflected immense sacrifices of his wife. When Ambedkar was preparing to go America for higher studies, the neighboring women advised Ramabai to stop her husband from going abroad, as he may marry a Mem (English woman) and would desert her. But Ramabai had unflinching faith in her sahib andreplied to those ladies that she knew her husband well and he cannot do so". Despite Ramabai's little education she was an expert housewife and knew well how to run her house hold affairs. On getting money for monthly household expenses from Ambedkar, she used to divide the money into 30 parts keeping each part separately. Daily she opened one part and used it, so as not to run penniless on last dates of the month. Her economical habits and faith on her husband enabled the couple to construct their palatial house namely, Rajgriha in Bombay. However, even after moving into Rajgrih, it did not affect her simple habits.The wedlock of this ideal couple was blessed with four sons and one daughter, Out of their four sons namely, Ramesh, Gangadhar, Yashwant and Rajratna and one daughter Indu, only one son Yashwant Ambedkar (Father of Sh Parkash Ambedkar, MP) survived others died mostly in fancy. This gave the couple great pains and sorrows. On the death of his youngest son Rajratana on Ist July 1926, Dr Ambedkar wrote on 16th August to one of his friends, "There is no use pretending that I and my wife have recovered from the shock of our son's death and I don't think that we ever shallwith the loss of our kids the salt of our life is gone".
After a long period of mourning and on the insistence of his well-wishers, Dr Ambedkar settled down on the work for emancipation of downtrodden but Ramabai Continued in grief. This acted upon her health badly and she fell gravely ill. She being highly religious even during illness continued observing fasts. On Saturdays she took only water and black grams, worshipped God for showering blessing on her husband. Her thoughts, mind and eyes were devoted to the service of her Sahib. At this she would say, 'Sahib what is there in having so many Degrees, can't we live happily with lesser education?' Perhaps she did not know that the emancipation of millions of untouchables was possible only with knowledge of Dr Ambedkar which he acquired before plunging into the war to break the age-old chains of slavery of his brethren. His opponents claimed to be the only qualified and intelligent persons being off springs of those who had debared untouchables from acquiring any academic qualifications for ages. But in Ambedkar they found a person who counted one among the six world's top qualified persons of his times.
On Ramabai's insistence and Dr Ambedkar took Ramabai to Pandharpur for pilgrimage of Vithal Ji Maharaj, in whom she had great faith. However, being untouchables they were not allowed to go near the temple, so they had to stand at a distance from the temple idol to offer prayers. This irritated the self-respecting Dr Ambedkar and he said, "What of that Pandharpur, which prevents its devotees from seeing the image of God, by our own virtuous life, selfless service and spotless sacrifice in the cause of downtrodden humanity, we shall create another Pandharpur. By saying another Pandharpur he meant leaving Hinduism which was immune to reforms. He kept his promise by leaving Hindu religion and embracing Buddhism and re-establishing Buddha in His land of birth after centuries, but this happened long time after the passing away his loving wife. Illness at last over powered the weak body physique of Ramabai Ambedkar. She was even taken to Dharwal by Dr. Ambedkar for change, but this too did not help in improving her health. No medicine could give her relief and at last on 27 May 1935 unfortunate happened. She passed away at her residence.Thus came the end of nobility of mind and purity of heart. Fortunately Dr Ambedkar was by the side of her deathbed. About 10,000 people rich and poor, educated and illiterate, important and common attended her funeral procession. Her son Yashwantrao Ambedkar preformed all last rites at the bidding of a Maha priest Sambhoo More, who was Baba Sahib's colleague since their school days. After the death of Ramabai, Dr. Ambedkar was a completely broken person. Over a week, he kept weeping like a child and it was difficult to console him. He put on a dress
of a hermit and got his head tonsured. The saintly saffron robe indicated a hermit with world negating attitude. On repeated requests and advice of his trusted friend and well-wishers he again took in his hand the oar to sail across his suffering fellowmen and to cut their age old chains of slavery. Revered Mata Ramabai Ambedkar shall be remembered for ages to come for her services to the emancipator of millions suppressed, oppressed Dalits.
CHOUDHARI SHRIMATI JAIBAI (1892-1964)
Shrimati Jaibai Choudhari a great educationalist after revolutionary Madam Savitribai Phule (1831 — 1897) worked to educate the dalits. Both opened schools for the Dalits and girls. Both were great social workers among the Mahars (Dalits) in Maharashtra. Mata Savitribai Phule and Shrimati Jaibai Choudhary had their Karambumi at Pune and Nagpur respectively. Child Jaibai with a human heart was born on 2nd May, 1892 at Umrer, near Nagpur. She was married in 1901 to respected Choudhary Bapuji of Nagpur. She was only nine years old at her marriage. The couple was blessed with two sons and one daughter.
Shrimati Jaibai Choudhari faced many difficulties in early life. Her family got dislocated in the famine of 1896 and so the family had to move to Nagpur in search of manual labour. She could only complete her primary education. To earn livelihood she had to work as a coolie carrying luggage on her head from Nagpur to Kamptee, a distance often miles. As luck would have it she came in contact with a Christian missionary, Miss Gregory. Miss Gregory got Jaibai engaged as school teacher in Mission School, Timki, Nagpur, at a salary of Rs 4 a month. But caste ridden, upper caste Hindu students boycotted the school as their parents could not tolerate an untouchable lady teacher teaching their children. So, she had to resign from the service. This incident made her firm to fight against untouchability and the caste system ills in the Hindu society. She thought that education could be used as a means to achieve desired results.Shrimati Jaibai Choudhari firmly decided to spread education among the untouchable girls and awaken the women folk. With this solemn determination she opened Saint Chokhomela Girls School at New Colony (Mangalwari Bazar) Nagpur in the year 1922 for the untouchable girls after the name of sacred Maharashtra Mahar (Dalit) Saint Chokhomela (Fourteen Century AD). With her determination and dedication to the cause, this school got upgraded to Primary school (1922-1954) then a secondary school (1954 to 1980) and further achieved the heights to become a college. It is doing a commendable work for the girl students.Along with her activities in the field of education she worked among her people, for their overall progress and development. She firmly believed that Dalits cannot progress till they get share in the political power for which women education was most needed. So she worked to educate Dalits particularly the dalit Women folk. She was moving from place to place for educating the untouchable women with motivation for them to adopt new lifestyles, cleanliness and rationalism.When the first session of the All India Depressed Classes Congress was held at Kamthi, Nagpur on 8-9 August, 1930 and the First All India Depressed Classes Women conference was also held, Shrimati Jaibai Choudhari was selected as secretary of the reception committee. The conference was Presided over and addressed by Dr. Ambedkar, who awakened the Dalits about the political reforms being made in the country as proposed under the Simon commission. Dr. Ambedkar demanded representation of Untouchables in all the Legislative Assemblies of the country besides Reservation in services for Untouchables in all Public Sector undertakings and government departments. Dr. Ambedkar was unanimously elected one of the two representatives of the Untouchables in the Round Table Conferences held in England in 1930-32.
Jaibai choudhari was a member of the reception committee of the All India Depressed Classes Women's conference held at Nagpur in 1942 where the Scheduled Caste Fedration was formed. Shri Rao Bahadur N. Shivraj (1892-1964)was elected as President and Shri P.N. Rajbhoj (1905-1984) General Secretary of the All India Scheduled Castes Federation. The conference was addressed by Dr. Ambedkar.The Samta Sainik Dal was formed by Dr.Ambedkar in 1828 under subedar V.D. Savadkar (1889-1939).Meeting of Samta Dal was also held on the same vanue. Samta Sainik Dal had a Dalit voleenter force of over 20,000 . Madam Jaibai Choudhari a member of Scheduled Castes Federation participated in Satyagraha (1946) for political rights to Dalits at Nagpur. Being a staunch believer in Buddhism she got converted to Buddhism in 1956. She shall be remembered for long as a dedicated worker of Dalits, who struggled throughout her life span of about 72 years for their cause. This iron lady with ever vibrating heart for Dalits and their emancipator breathed her last on the 11th October, 1964.
DANI SHANTABAI (1918-2001)
Madam Dani Shantabai a Mahar Republician leader was born in a hut on out skirts of Nasik in Maharashtra, on 1 ^ January 1918 to revered Shri Dhanaji Dani. Her father was a devotional religious singer. To earn his livelihood he was engaged as the milk seller and owned twelve buffalos. Her mother had three children from her earlier marriage also.Shantbai had two brothers (Anna and Shankar) and a sister Sonubai. But her brother Shankar died an early death. This made his father mentally wreck and he took to drinking. Her mother was very hard working and advised child Santabai to get educated as education was ray of hope for poor. When her mother died she was out in Gujrat for schooling. Miss Dani Shantabai as a child was brought in a poise religious atmosphere. After passing her matriculation from Pune she got the job of a teacher in Vinchur school of Nasik district in Maharashtra. Since she was teacher by profession and passed her teacher's training examination from Nasik. As she was engrossed in social work for the up liftment of her Dalit Samaj, so she resigned from her job and became a whole timer social activist. For devoting her full time for the Dalit uplift she did not marry. In Pune she came in contact with Dada sahib Gaikwad a committed activist ofthe Scheduled Caste Federation (SCF). B.K. Gaikwad took her to Dr. Ambedkar. She was so influenced by the work of both these Dalit emancipators along with their team that she joined SFC on the day of its formation by Dr. Ambedkar at Nagpur on 17-20 July, 1942. Due to her dedication and commitment for the up liftment of the Dalits, in 1943 she was elected as President of SCF Nasik district unit. She also participated in the second conference of SCF at Kanpur in 1945 and got the unique honor of presiding over the SCF Women's conference held there on the same vanue.
When Dr. Ambedkar decided to contest Bombay Provincial Assembly Elections held on 20th June, 1946 on SCF Tickets, Madam Shantabai Dani was called upon to contest from Niphad constituency. She along with many other SCF candidates lost the elections. Dr. Ambedkar analyzed the election results and found that SCF lost as no caste Hindu supported SCF candidates. The upper Caste voters being large in numbers voted for Candidates supported by Hindu Organization. She continued her strive for the betterment of Dalits. She accompanied P.N. Rajbhoj to Raipur to bring Satnami Dalits to main stream of Dalit empowerment movement. But being misunderstood both were arrested as agents of Nizam of Hyderabad. Both were lodged in Jabalpur jail for three months. She was also jailed in Yarwadajail Pune in 1946 for leading a black flag demonstration against Poona Pact. She was among the members of RPI (The Republican Party of India) when this party was launched on 3rd November, 1957after the death of Dr. Ambedkar. Shri N.Shivraj was made President of RPI.Her mentor Dada Sahib B.K. Gaikwad was made president of the new political party after the demise of Shri N.Shivraj in 1964.
She unsuccessfully contested as SCF candidate from Sinnar-Niphad constituency in 1952, as RPI candidate for Malegaon (G) Lok Saba constituency in 1962 and Lok Saba elections in 1980 from Nasik. Her political life graph bestowed upon her nomination as member of Maharashtra Legislative Council from1968-1974. She carried black flags demonstration in the Legislative Council against injustice meted out to Dalits.She took part in the Satyagraha launched by the landless people in 1959 and 1964. She also turned her attention towards the vital issue of education of Dalits. So she became instrumental in establishing a number of educational institutions to achieve her dreams in the education field. In her strive she got established under the guidance of Dada Sahib Gaikwad the Takshashila Vidyalaya and Goutam Chhateralaya at Nasik in 1959, Ramabai Girls school at Nasik in 1965. In her long association with Dalit leaders, Dr. Ambedkar, P.N. Rajbhoj, Madam N. Shivraj, Dada Sahib B.K Gaikwad, Mrs. Gitabai B. Gaikwad, Dada Sahib Roham, Sh. Lalingkar, Miss Londhe, she did a remarkable work for the empowerment of the Dalits. She got converted to Buddhism along with others in 1956 and propagated it in Maharashtra. She passed away in 2001 at an age of 83 years.Her life was a saga of journey of struggle. She shall be long remembered for struggle to achieve goals of Dalit empowerment.
J. ESWARI BAI, SMT (1920-1991)
Smt J. Eswari Bai a Mala Caste lady was born on 1st December, 1920 in Hyderabad then ruled by Nizam of Hyderabad. The Mala caste (Boatman, fishermen) is now a scheduled caste.She was a champion of cause of SCs/STs, the weak, the poor and women. Her father Shri Balleppu Balaram was member of Adi-Hindu (Aboriginal) Jyotonaati Sabha which was committed to active social work. Madam Eswari Bai was hard working with a sharp mind and she passed her B.A. She was greatly disturbed with the miserable poor conditions of her Depressed Classes peoples. Hyderabad was a Muslim ruled Hindu majority state and caste based discrimination was rampant. The Depressed Classes people were the worst sufferers. They firstly suffered discriminations for being classified as Hindu and secondly from Caste Hindus hands as they being Untouchable. Their fate carried only discrimination at the hands of both Hindus and Muslims. Thereafter Madam Eswari Bai decided to devote herself to social service for Dalits.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar converted the Indian Labour Party (ILP) into a full flagged political party “All India Scheduled Castes Federation" on1 8-20 July, 1942atNagpur. She joined the All India Scheduled Castes Federation from the very beginning. She worked with zeal in the SCF party. Her keen association with SFC and working for achieving its ideals reflects from the fact that she contested thrice as the SC candidate. Madam J. Eswari Bai contested in 1952, 1957 and 1962 respectively from Huzurabad (R), Jangaon (R) and from Yellareddy (R) constituencies for the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. She won from Yellareddy (R) constituency for assembly seat in 1967 and got elected. Again, she got elected in 1972 from the same constituency as RPI party candidate.After the formation of the Republican Party of India, shejoined it. Later she was associated with the breakaway wing of RPI headed by Shri D.A. Katti. After the death of Shri D.A. Katti, then President of RPI in 1986, Smt. J. Eswari Bai was unanimously elected President of this break away group of RPI.
Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Welfare Association said in a release dated May 15, 2008 that Eswari Bai was elected as a councilor of the Secunderabad Municipal Corporation in 1950. Eswari Bai started a fair price medical dispensary in Chilkalguda to help poor patients. She also got established a vocational 'Work Centre for Women' in 1950 and trained number of women in tailoring, spinning, knitting and other crafts and later the trainees on their own started self-employment units. She also constructed a school at Chinta Bai, Chilkalguda, with her own funds and later donated it to the government. She served as secretary of Indian Conference of Social Welfare (ICSW) and a member of the Indian Red Cross Society. She served as a chairperson of the Women and Child Welfare department. As legislator she was instrumental in bringing legislation for free education of girl students up to higher education. Madam Eswari Bai was force behind in getting land distributed to the landless poor formers as MLA. She worked hard to protect the constitutional rights of Dalits. She used to fight against all social evils, atrocities and injustices against Dalits and women in the state. Her daughter Mrs. Dr. J Geeta Reddy (1947 born) is doctor by profession and is married to Dr. Ramachandra Reddy who is from Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Mrs. Dr. J Geeta Reddy is in the Andhra Cabinet as Cabinet Minister since 1989.
Smt J. Eswari Bai tried her luck again when she contested in 1978 (from Jukkal), in 1983 (from Andole) and in 1985 (from Andole) but failed to make it to the Assembly. She again unsuccessfully contested from Amalapuram constituency for the Lok Saba in 1977. But during all these ups and downs, she continued to dedicate herself for the Depressed Classes cause and stuck to Ambedkarite movement particularly for Dalit women empowerment. She was non-compromising Dalit leader on her committed principles. She had a strong team of dedicated comrades including Shri P.V. Manohar from Hyderabad and Shri B.V.Ramanaiah from Amalapuram. She lived and died with the flag of Ambedkarite movement. She passed away on 24th, February 1991 at the age of 71. J Eswari Bai's statute stands errected at St John's circle in Secunderabad to keep her memories fresh in the minds of Andhra people for whom she lived, worked and died.
SHIVARAJ MEENAMBAL, MADAM (1902-1992)
Miss Meenambal was daughter of Mr. Pillai Vasudeo Govindraju, a native of Vallore in Madras, an Adi-Dravida Dalit. Mr. Vasudeo was engaged in business in Burma and was also for some time a member of the Madras Corporation. Then he was nominated as member of the Legislative Council of Madras from 1923 to 1926. Miss Meenambal was born to Mr. Pillai Vasudeo Govindraju on 26th December 1902 at Rangoon in Burma. She passed her matriculation from Madurai Pillai High School, Rangoon founded by her father in 1900. When she came back to Madras she got married to Rao Bahadur N. Shivraj in 1918, a renowned Dalit leader of south and a staunch supporter of Baba Sahib Ambedkar. Mrs. Meenambal Shivaraj was among the first Scheduled Caste women to receive the honour of being a member of Madras Corporation. She was also elected by the university Senate to represent Madras University in the Corporation.
She was a very active and faithful member of the Scheduled Castes Federation formed in 1942. The Shivraj couple was perhaps the most trusted followers of Dr. Baba Sahib B.R. Ambedkar. Mrs. Meenambal Shivaraj advised the women folk of depressed classes to educate their children, infuse confidence and good character in them. She advised them to liberate themselves from casteism, unclean jobs and domination Being women activist Mrs. Shivaraj presided over the women's conference of Scheduled Castes Federation, held at Madras on 23rd September 1944 and the All India SCF Women's Conference held at Bombay on 6th may 1945. These two conferences were addressed by Dr. Baba sahib Ambedkar and Rao BahadurN. Shivaraj.
She unsuccessfully contested the first general elections held in 1952 for the Madras Legislative Assembly, then for Madras Legislative Council in 1952 as SCF candidate and finally she contested for Madras Legislative Assembly as a congress candidate in 1967. She had two sons and two daughters to whom she gave good education. Her son Mr. Dayashakar, IPS (Retd.) looked after her in her old age as her husband N. Shivraj had passed away on 29th September 1964. She died on 30th November 1992 at a ripe age of 92 years. She shall be long remembered as a dedicated Dalit Women leader.
AMBEDKAR DR SAVITA ALIAS MAI SAHIBA.(1911-2003)
Dr. Ambedkar's first wife Ramabai Ambedkar passed away after a prolonged illness on 27th May 1935.This left indelible memories on the mind of one of the greatest educationist, lawyer, constitutional giant, economist and a true human ever born. Even after over five decades of his death Dr Ambedkar has been voted in a worldwide contest to be the top intellectual in the world. In another Indian survey Dr. Ambedkar was overwhelmingly voted to be next only to Mahatma Gandhi leaving behind many other Indian giants. On the demise of Rama an ever caring wife, her sahib was left alone, when he needed her the most by his side.
Although in their married life of 27 years, Rama had faced extreme poverty, unfortunate death of their four children, her own medical problems, but she bore it only with the hope that good day shall be bestowed by Lord Vitthal. After her death Dr Ambedkar lost interest in life and put on hermit's dress and he even did not shave his face for days.Even after days of mourning when he did not show interest in his work, his comrades reminded him of his commitments towards his suffering untouchable masses, who after centuries found a ray of good hope in him. Therefore after three to four weeks of desperate shock and grieving, Dr Ambedkar got absorbed in his job to cut the slavery chains of his down trodden folks. Dr Ambedkar lived single for another thirteen years after passing away of revered Mata Ramabai Ambedkar. Dr Ambedkar's son Yashwantrao Ambedkar and his nephew Mukund were living with him and looking after him all these years.
Since Dr Ambedkar was in his mid-fifties only, many of his well-wishers suggested him to re-marry to have somebody by his side to look after his falling health and other domestic problems. But he could not think anybody taking the place of his beloved saintly Rama. He was also worried about the well-being of his only son and nephew being not sure how his new wife shall behave with her step son, in case he married.
Therefore for thirteen years passed by after the death of Rama. Dr. Ambedkar kept himself engaged in hard work day and night. He remained busy in writing books, meeting world delegations and going abroad for redeeming his responsibility towards up liftment of over millions illiterate, untouchables, half naked, poverty ridden & starving Indians. His hard work affected his health adversely but he never bothered about it. Dr Ambedkar's achievements during these years were too many. Above all, he had joined as Law Minister of India and was elected as Chairman of Indian constitution drafting committee. Dr Ambedkar finished writing of constitution for which 26th January, 1948 was fixed as last date. This was a gigantic work, which he finished with merits.
Since Dr Ambedkar frequently visited Delhi and Bombay, every time he went to Bombay he used to go and call on Prof. Rau, both of whom were fast friends. Prof Rau's daughters and Dr. Sharda Kabir a Saraswati Maharashtrian Brahmin girl were friends . Prof. Rau introduced Dr. Ambedkar then Law Minister of India to Dr. Savita Kabir,.
Dr. Ambedkar told his new friend Dr .Kabir of his health problems, who in turn suggested getting him checked from Dr. Madav G. Malvankar, a physio-therapist. She told that Dr. Malvankar is having a clinic and she is working there as a doctor cum nurse. Dr. Ambedkar met Dr. Malvankar who started his treatment. For his treatment Dr. Ambedkar visited too often Dr. Malvankar's Clinic where he met Dr. Kabir every time. Since Dr. Ambedkar had landed into many medical problems including eye sight, diabetes, blood pressure and above all general body weakness. He needed regular medical care including timely medicines with frequent medical checkup. This only a medical practitioner or an experienced nurse could do. With long association both Dr. Malvaankar and his patient had become thick friends. Troubled by continued medical problems Dr. Ambedkar wanted to remarry with a doctor but such a lady in his own spheres was not available. When he discussed this with Dr Sharda Kabir, she proposed to accompany him to his place and was prepared to stay there for some months to give him required medical attention. Dr. Ambedkar out rightly rejected it telling her your presence in his house shall give rise to a lot of whispering and shall blemish his name, which he cannot tolerate. His critics shall find a point to tarnish his image. He said despite his lifelong difficulties coupled with death of his poise wife thirteen years ago, he has maintained his name and peace of mind, which was his most prized possessions. Dr. Malvaankar also suggested him to get married in view of his health problems. He even suggested Dr. Ambedkar to ask Dr. Kabir if, he approved of it, since she was also concerned with his medical problems and allied treatments.
This way, both Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Kabir came near to one another and also started exchanging letter correspondence. In the process, one day Dr. Ambedkar sent her an ornamental gift expressing his desire to marry her, if she willingly accepted the offer. She discussed it with her family and Dr. Malvankar too, who all approved the offer from Law Minister of India, knowing swell he was an untouchable by caste. Dr. Kabir wrote him back showing her family's approval and also her personal approval.
Now started their continued correspondence, where Dr. Kabir addressed her would be husband as "Raja" who in turn addressed his fiancé as "Sharu". Dr. Ambedkar wrote her in details about his habits, financial health, and his committed liabilities about his only surviving son, nephew and his poor people. He also wrote about his very busy life, his future plans, his pending life plans, his poor health and his dried up sexual desires. She also wrote about her family, liabilities and to their future help. Dr. Ambedkar even discussed his re-marriage plans with his close confidants, who almost all rejected his idea of marrying with chosen girl with whom he had wide differences of caste, age, qualification, profession ,status and committed liabilities. Despite this Dr. Ambedkar, a untouchable Mahar married a Chitpavan, Saraswati Brahmin girl of 37 years, 18years younger to her husband who attained 57 years age a day earlier.
They got married on Thursday 15th April, 1948, as Thursday was considered auspicious day in the life of bride groom. The civil marriage was performed at the official bungalow of Law Minister. It was a quiet affair where only a few selected people were invited, who congratulated the couple. Immediately after the ceremony the couple went to the bungalow of Sardar Vallabbai Patel Central Home Minister, who had arranged for reception for newly wedded couple. Despite being not well Sardar Vallabbai Patel, rose from his bed to congratulate and bless the couple saying "Had Bapu been alive, he would have been very happy to day to bless this historic inter-caste marriage, for which he had worked hard". Next day almost all domestic and foreign newspapers carried the news in their own way. The New, York Times wrote "Hindu Brahmin weds untouchable leader forfeiting her caste right to enter Heaven". The bride was renamed as Dr Savita Ambedkar later she was addressed by their admirers as "MaiSahiba Dr Ambedkar ". Dr Ambedkar took her bride to Shimla for honeymooning which as per the accounts of husband was full of joy. Madam Savita found a jolly husband having internationally acclaimed name and fame. Dr Ambedkar found a young, lovely, attractive trained doctor and nurse to care for him, which both utmost needed. As Dr Ambedkar was found of good dresses himself, he saw to it that his wife dressed well too. His followers wanted to celebrate their marriage, which Dr Ambedkar did not approve. One of the reasons put forth by Dr. Ambedkar was that a Maharashtrian Nathu Ram Godse (1910-1949) had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi only two
and half months ago which had spread anti Maharashtrian feeling all over India. Therefore he feared that celebrating this inter caste marriage between two Maharashtrians may invite trouble and he wanted to avoid. Hereafter whether Dr. Ambedkar was in India or abroad his wife accompanied him as his medical attendant as well as his companion, friend and well-wisher. She was by the side of Dr Ambedkar at Nagpur on 14th October, 1956 when both of them embraced Buddism and recited together the divine mantra "Bhudhham Sharnam Gashami, Dharmam Sharnam Gashami,Sangham Sharnam Gashami—".
and half months ago which had spread anti Maharashtrian feeling all over India. Therefore he feared that celebrating this inter caste marriage between two Maharashtrians may invite trouble and he wanted to avoid. Hereafter whether Dr. Ambedkar was in India or abroad his wife accompanied him as his medical attendant as well as his companion, friend and well-wisher. She was by the side of Dr Ambedkar at Nagpur on 14th October, 1956 when both of them embraced Buddism and recited together the divine mantra "Bhudhham Sharnam Gashami, Dharmam Sharnam Gashami,Sangham Sharnam Gashami—".
Dr. Savita wrote in her memories that after their marriage both used to attend all official functions together, during parliament debates when her husband was deliberating in the parliament, his wife was seen sitting in the visitors' gallery. Dr Ambedkar even sought her personal opinion while framing Hindu code bill particularly in matters of right of women on parental property. She was trained to give him Oxygen bouts, when needed, besides maintaining strict medicine schedule, meal timing with required menu on dining table. Hindu Code Bill failed despite earlier promises of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. The Hindu Code Bill failed due to the adamant behavior of Hindu caste religious leaders inside the House as well as protests on streets outside. Even President Dr Rajinder Prasad was reported to side with Hindu caste religious leaders and threatened not to give his consent even if the bill was passed by Parliament. Dr Rajindra Prasad also threatened to resign as the President Of India, if the Hindu Code Bill was finally adopted by the Parliament. Failure of Hindu code bill a long cherished dream of Dr Ambedkar made him sad. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 26th September, 1951 moved a resolution in the house proposing to drop the bill. Dr Ambedkar's views that Hindu religious leaders are immune to reforms got further reinforced, so he resigned as Law Minister of India the very next day the 27th September 1951.
Dr Ambedkar failed to win Parliament elections in 1952 (Bombay North) and in 1954 (Chandra). So all his lieutenants including his doctor wife Savita became worried as they thought that his life without parliament would be miserable. But soon he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Bombay legislature, a position he retained till his end of life.
Dr Savita Ambedkar faced the worse of her life in the death of Dr B.R. Ambedkar in the morning of 6th December at around 6.30 am. She got up as usual, looked at the bed and saw Dr. Ambedkar's leg resting on the cushion as usual. She later realized that he had departed. She sent her car for Nanak Chand Rattu (assistant of Dr. Ambedkar), on his arrival Mrs. Ambedkar collapsed in the sofa crying that Baba Sahib had departed the world. Rattu could not bear the thought and with a trembling voice he exclaimed, "What! Baba sahib has departed this world. Rattu attempted to stimulate heart action in the mortal remains by massaging Baba's limbs, moving his arms and leg, pressing upward the chest diaphragm and putting in his mouth a spoonful of brandy; but all this failed to stimulate respiration as he had passed away in his sleep. Mrs. Ambedkar now loudly mourned her husband's death and Rattu wept bitterly over the dead body of his master, crying "Oh! Baba Sahib, I have come, give me work." Dr. Ambedkar had professed it four years ago to his chief lieutenant Bahurao Gaikwad that he would not live long and so Gaikward should prepare his mind for the event.Rattu then broke the shocking news to circles closest to Dr. Ambedkar and then Ministers of the Central Government. The news spread like wild fire. Many of his admirers, lieutenants and followers ran to 26 Alipore Road, and soon a throng of mourners collected outside his residence to have a last glimpse of the great emancipator of millions. The Bombay associates of the leader were intimated through Siddhartha College, and they were also informed that the body was being flown to Bombay that night.
After the death of her life partner she faced many unpleasant things, including facing litigation for repayment of loan taken during the life time of her late husband. Many said that Dr Ambedkar was murdered .The statement made by G.B. Pant union Home Minister in Lok Saba on 26tth November, 1957 telling that Dr Ambedkar had died as a natural death as per the report of DIG Delhi Police. But this did not arrest the doubts and criticism by his followers who alleged that it was a cover up story.When Dr Ambedkar was awarded Indian Highest Civilian Award BHARAT RATN A (posthumously), Dr Savita Ambedkar received it from the President R. Venkataraman in Rashtrpati Bhawanon 14th April, 1990.
Dr. Savita Ambedkar passed away at her residence in29 May, 2003 at Delhi, at 94 years of age. Her death was widely covered by media. Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha Najma Heptullah, Nationalist Congress Party president, Sharad Pawar, then Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde (Later Home Minister of India), Maharashtra State Governor H.E Mohammed Fazal, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, and Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala besides many other prominent personalities condoled her death and lauded her role in the life of Father Of Indian Constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as his spouse. The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Satyanarayan Jatiya, who represented the Centre at the funeral, said: "Dr. Savita Ambedkar has served Dr. Ambedkar with great dedication. Her sacrifice would be remembered for long and will serve as an inspiration for future generations."
Dr Savita Ambedkar shifted to a farmhouse in Mehrauli where she spent a considerable amount of her time. With the birth of the Dalit Panthers, young leaders like Ramdas Athwale and Gangadhar Gade requested her to be part of the dalit movement once again. That brought her back into public life. Her memoir, Babasahebanchya Sahavasat provides important personal information on Babasaheb Ambedkar. She also helped out the film maker Jabbar Patel when he made a feature film on the life of Dr. Ambedkar.
Er. H.R. Phonsa
References: Souveenir BDSA Delhi Dec.2007
2. Dalit Mehlayan (Hindi) by Dr.Manju Suman,Samyak Prakashan N.Delhi.
3. Dr.Ambedkar and His Associates By Er.H.R.Phonsa