The Inspirational Woman that we are talking about today is Pandita Ramabai Saraswati, the first person to introduce Braille for blind Girls.
In an extremely dire situation, she still presented herself as a distinguished Sanskrit scholar. Her conversion to Christianity took place during her education in England and USA. She was a godly woman of courage, faith, determination, devotion and love for others.
In 1878, Calcutta University properly honored her with the title Pandita. Her various works of sacred literature equally prepared her for the most notable title of Saraswati. She opened Ramabai Mukti Mission (Kedgaon, Pune) for orphan girls in 1896. She became the devoted mother of thousands of orphan girls, penniless widows, and blind girls.
She was the pioneering educationalists in India. She introduced kindergarten training, illustrated books for local school children, teachers training, and open primary and high school.
She was first to introduce the braille for blind girls. Not only that girls learned to read, but they also helped in the craft industry. They learned to sing properly and perform music. The girls make bags and their handmade beautiful baskets are on demand in the market. She boldly advised Indian citizens to be proud of India and honor their country more than honoring the Head of the Empire.
She was the first woman to translate the entire Bible in Marathi (Language of the state of Maharashtra) from the original languages (Hebrew and Greek). She was well versed in at least 7 languages. She fearlessly spoke in Indian Congress for the fundamental rights of women. In 1882, she wrote prolifically a book called Stri Dharma Niti, which is used in colleges as a reference book on morality.
In front of the British parliament she boldly spoke and persuaded the British governor to aid those who are adversely affected by the great plague. She was the first in India to propose the idea that India should be united under one language and one script. At the time when unmarried pregnant girls and widows were considered social and moral outcast, she accepted them in and ministered to them.
In the era when helpless women had no voice in the society, she lectured. Her passionate speech before the Hunter Commission on the 5th of September, 1882 persuaded Queen Victoria to help build a women’s hospital and start training for the first women doctors in India. She introduced small-scale industries for women to help them become financially independent. The industries included making bricks, weaving, printing press and many other products.
The British government, in 1919 endowed her with the Kaisar-i-Hind medal for outstanding community service. She was the first Indian women to be properly honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 5 April. The church of England also honored with a commemoration day in the liturgical calendar on 30th April.
In honor of her service and work for the women, the government on India issued a postal stamp on 26th of October, 1989. A street in Mumbai is named after her called ” Pandita Ramabai Marg.”
The orphanage of Kedgaon Mukti Mission near Pune still operates under the supervision of the board. It is one of the places to visit to appreciate the achievements of one remarkable woman.
Image Source: NYTimes
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge
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