Story of an 8-year-old girl who sacrificed and educated hundreds of girls


149 years ago on this day, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule along with the people of Pune founded the Satyashodhak Samaj to eliminate caste discrimination and bring unity to society. On September 24, 1873, Dr. Vishram Ramji Ghole attended this meeting as a supporter. Dr. Ghole was a renowned surgeon from Pune (then Poona), who received the title of ‘Viceroy Honorary Surgeon’. He belonged to a backward caste, yet he had good relations with the upper caste.

Dr. Vishram Ramji Ghole was a supporter of women’s empowerment. This was the reason why he made up his mind to educate his first daughter, Kashibai. At that time, his move was strongly opposed by society, but he never took steps back.

Professor Pratima Pardeshi, who wrote the life of Dr. Ghole in Marathi, says, in that era, the people of the society believed that if girls were educated, the entire generation would be ruined. It was not easy to decide on going against the orthodox conservative society to educate the daughter.

Dr. Ghole used to affectionately call his daughter Bali. He sent Kashibai to school to study. Dr. Ghole stuck to his point and started to teach the daughter. The daughter had to pay the brunt after the family protested first and then the outsiders. Over time the opposition grew. Some relatives felt that a big mistake was being made by sending the daughter to school. So some relatives made a plan and fed Kashibai food mixed with fine parts of the glass. As a result, the internal part of the body was badly damaged.

According to Professor Pratima, Dr. Ghole and the people of that time never shared the exact cause of Kashibai’s death, but later generations mentioned that incident in documents and interviews. She says, Kashibai was born on September 13, 1869, and died on September 27, 1877. Dr. Ghole built a fountain three years later in his daughter’s memory and mentioned the date of her death on it. The fountain was named Bahulicha Houd.

After his daughter’s death, Dr. Ghole started his initiative to give girls the right to education. In 1884 he opened a school for girls. He also taught his younger daughter Gangubai in the same school, who became knowledgeable of Vedic dharma.

Dr. Ghole constantly fought with the people of the society for the upliftment and progress of women. Due to this campaign, hundreds of girls got the right to be educated and moved on.

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