Biography of Jyotirao Phule

Jyotirao Phule, also known as Jyotiba Phule, was a prominent social reformer, activist, and writer in 19th-century India. He played a pivotal role in the social and educational upliftment of marginalized communities, especially in the state of Maharashtra. Here is a detailed biography of his life:
Early Life and Education - Social Reform Work - Education Reforms - Literary Contributions - Legacy of Jyotirao Phule
Biography of Jyotirao Phule

Early Life and Education:

Jyotirao Phule was born on April 11, 1827, in Pune, Maharashtra, India. He belonged to the Mali (gardener) community, which was considered a lower caste in the social hierarchy. Despite facing discrimination due to his caste, Phule was determined to acquire education. He managed to study in a Scottish Mission’s school, where he learned English, Marathi, and Sanskrit.

Jyotirao Phule’s Social Reform Work:

Inspired by the ideas of social equality and justice, Jyotirao Phule dedicated his life to the upliftment of the oppressed classes in India. He founded the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Truth Seekers) in 1873, which aimed to challenge the caste system, untouchability, and other social injustices prevalent in society. Phule advocated for the rights of Dalits (untouchables), women, and peasants.

Education Reforms:

One of Phule’s significant contributions was in the field of education. He, along with his wife Savitribai Phule, started the first school for girls in India in 1848. They also opened schools for children from the lower castes and untouchables, providing education to those who were denied access to formal learning. Phule believed that education was the key to social transformation and worked tirelessly to promote it among marginalized communities.

Literary Contributions of Jyotirao Phule:

Jyotirao Phule was a prolific writer and wrote several influential books and pamphlets in Marathi. His notable works include “Gulamgiri” (Slavery), in which he critiqued the caste system, and “Satyashodhak Samajokt Mangalashtakasah Sarva Puja-vidhi” (Religious Hymns for Social Functions According to the Principles of the Satyashodhak Society).


Jyotirao Phule’s social reform movements laid the foundation for the Dalit rights movement in India. His emphasis on social equality, education, and empowerment of marginalized communities continues to inspire social activists and reformers. His work has had a lasting impact on Indian society, particularly in the fields of education, women’s rights, and social justice.
Jyotirao Phule passed away on November 28, 1890, but his ideas and teachings remain relevant, serving as a guiding light for those advocating for a more just and equitable society in India.