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 Pandita Ramabai

A commemorative postage stamp on Panditha Ramabai Sarasvati (1858-1920), a pioneer in education and emancipation of women in India :

Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati & Sharada SadanIssued by India

Issued on Oct 26, 1989

Description of Designs : The stamp depicts the personality with the original building of Sharada Sadan in the background, designed at India Security Press, Nashik. The First Day Cover designed by Shri Sankha Samantha, shows the building of Sharada Sadan in its present form. The cancellation has been designed by Ms. Nenu Gupta.

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Colour : Single colour

Denomination : 60 Paise

Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Indigenous un W/M P. G. Coated gummed stamp paper

Number Printed : 10,00,000

Number per issue sheet : 35

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printed : India Security Press

Name : Ramabai Dongre

Born on Apr 23, 1858 at Canara district, Madras Presidency, British India [now in Karnataka]

Died on Apr 5, 1922 at Bombay Presidency, British India

About : 

  • Pandita Ramabai, the youngest daughter of Anant Shastri, was a social reformer, a champion for the emancipation of women, and a pioneer in education. Left totally alone by the time she was 23, Ramabai acquired a great reputation as a Sanskrit scholar.
  • Deeply impressed by her prowess, the Sanskrit scholars of Calcutta University conferred on her the titles of “Saraswati” and “Pandita“. She rebelled against the caste system and married a shudra advocate, but was widowed at 23, having a baby girl. In 1882, she established the Arya Mahila Samaj for the cause of women’s education in Pune and different parts of Western India. This led to the formation of the Sharda Sadan in 1889 – which school completes a hundred years this year – a school which blossomed into an umbrella organisation called Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission, 40 miles outside Pune.
  • In 1896, during a severe famine Ramabai toured to villages of Maharashtra with a caravan of bullock carts and rescued thousands of out-caste children, child widows, orphans and other destitute women and brought them to the shelter of Mukti and Sharada Sadan. A learned women knowing seven languages, she also translated the Bible into her mother tongue – Marathi – from the original Hebrew and Greek. Her work continues today, a memorial to her life and path.
  • Text : Courtesy Shri M.K. Williams, Principal of Mount Carmel School.
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