Ramabai Ranade Biography
Born in the year 1862, Ramabai Ranade has been known in history for her selfless social works, her participation in nationalistic movements and social reforms and also her contributions in promoting women empowerment.
She was married at the tender age of 11, to a lawyer and reformer called Mahadev Govind Ranade, and their journey saw an initial rough patch, as her husband was willing to get married to a widow, and was coaxed into the marriage with Ramabai. This led to a lot of turbulence in their marriage, but gradually things improved and Mahadev was willing to guide his wife, who was extremely young and touch her how to read and write.
She grasped the lessons very well and was her mind was always agile to learn and reciprocate the knowledge she earned. Her husband passed away in the year 1901, and since that period, she became strengthened and determined to carry forward her learning and knowledge and help other women who are distress to ensure women empowerment.
She started visiting the Central Jail and mental asylums, and participated in the day to day activities of the women there, be it praying with them or eating with them. She believed by bringing some normalcy and hopes in their lives, they would be able to resurrect their souls which had been dead for too long.
She also visited the reformatory schools for boys and distributed food items and sweets over there.
Being fairly literate by that time, Ramabai published her husband’s speeches and writings, and was an active member in all of the campaigns for India’s women franchises. She had also led campaigns to draw attention of the public to the plight and troubles of India’s laborers in Fiji Islands.
She became the president of the Bombay Seva Sadan in 1908, and secured that designation until her death in1924. She also became the president of Poova Seva Sadan in 1909. Further, she started many clubs that would focus on teaching housewives basic things like first aid, sewing and also helped them learn English and Marathi.
She organized the women’s suffrage movement in 1921, and her most recalled contributions were her demand for free and compulsory education for girls.