Saturday, 26 January 2013

Pandita Ramabai

Pandita Ramabai (23 April 1858 – 5 April 1922) was a social reformer and activist in India. She was born as Brahmin Hindu and being well learned in the languages and Hindu texts was conferred the title "Pandita' by the distinguished educators of Calcutta University in 1878. However she became disillusioned later, by the deception practiced by priests, superstition and plight of women depicted in the Hindu texts. It was at this point in time that Ramabai resolved to spend her life attempting to better the status of women in India. She later converted to Christianity, and served widows and helpless women of India.She started Arya Mahila Samaj,which is Sanskrit for "Noble Women's Society.

In 1889, Ramabai established the Mukti Mission in Pune, as a refuge and a Gospel witness for young widows deserted and abused by their families; she also established Krupa Sadan, a home for for "fallen” women, who had been cast out of society due to their moral failures. Ramabai also started SHARDA SADAN, which also provided housing, education, vocational training and medical services for many needy groups including widows, orphans and the blind. In Sanskrit and most Indian languages MUKTI means liberation.In her spotless widow's white, Ramabai most often arose before 4:00 A.M. and worked until half past eight at night. By 1900 there were 1,500 residents and over a hundred cattle in the Mukti mission and she was also involved in establishing a Church at Mukti. The Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission is still active today, providing housing, education, vocational training, and medical services, for many needy groups including widows, orphans, and the blind."Pandit" and "Saraswati" at Bengal (before going to Britain), recognising her skills in Sanskrit. Kaisar-i-Hind medal for community service in 1919, awarded by the British Government. She is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on April 5.

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