Dalit Sthree Sakthi has organized a conference on “Education – Gender Equity” at Press Club, Vijayawada on the eve of Savitri Bai Phule Jayanthi on 3rd January 2020. Sri Akunuri Murali IAS., Advisor to Government of AP, Department of School Education was the chief guest and the other dignitaries on the dais were Sri Jhansi Geddam National Convener of DSS, Sri Manikyam & Sri Anuradha from AP TRANSCO, Sri Rajinikanth State President of Sneha Club,
Sri Ramesh from Childline, Sri K Prakash Kumar from BIRDS and the conference was presided over by GDV Prakash Programme Manager of DSS. District Women Collective leaders from West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts have participated.
Though the UN declared 24th January of every year to be celebrated as “Education Day”, so far, the Government of India has not drawn any programme in response to the UN call. Already the Government of India has issued circular to celebrate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam as Education Day, but it is mostly ignored. During the days of Savitri Bhai Phule women including dominant caste women also were not sent to schools as women are supposed to be only housewives and do not need any education for themselves. In such a stagnant society Savitri Bhai advocated for the education of not just women but women from the oppressed castes. This very thought of her was highly visionary. For this reason,DSS chose to celebrate her birth anniversary in a befitting way and has been conducting every 3rd of January as Education Day with a theme to inspire the dalit women and has been continuing the practice.
Sri Murali highlighted the remarkable services of Savitri Bai Phule’s for the downtrodden of
our country and her thoughts about the education of the oppressed castes. In those days itself she championed for the rights of women. As a social reformer she pioneered for equality of men and women and brought a social revolution against various inequalities and feudal social norms in the society. During those days the people in the country were kept away from progress and were steeped in superstitious/blind beliefs. It was in such a society that Savitri Bhai worked with courage and vision. Now it is time for the downtrodden women to come on to the mainstream by taking Savitri Bai Phule as a role-model.
Sri Jhansi Geddam has said that the dalit Adivasi women need to set goals for their development and work hard for social and economic development. It is necessary for every dalit women to reflect on social and economic reality and to come out of ignorance. A family will surely develop if the mother is knowledgeable, therefore, we need to educate our children, play a prominent role as changemakers in the society.
The other speakers explained about the life and work of Savitri Bai Phule as the first women teacher and how she has faced many hurdles and insults inorder to provide education to the deprived and downtrodden women. The speakers inspired the gathering about the need to walk in the footsteps of Savitri Bai Phule to build a good society for our children. They stressed the importance of the role of women in building a society free from violence.