VU- JMC students visited Mahatma Phulewada, Ganjpeth, Pune On 13th February, 2020, department of Journalism & Mass Communication organized an educational visit of BAJMC (First year) students to ‘Mahatma Phulewada’. This historical place is located in Ganjpeth, Pune. The visit was really successful as students got to know about the significant work done by the great social reformer as well as philosopher Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule. People also call this place as 'Phulewada'.
Phulewada is the residence of visionary social reformer Mahatma Phule. Jyotirao ‘Jyotiba’ Govindrao Phule was a prominent social reformer and thinker of the nineteenth century India. He led the movement against the prevailing caste-restrictions in India. He revolted against the domination of the Brahmins and struggled for the rights of peasants and other low-caste people. Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was also a pioneer for women's education in India and fought for education of girls throughout his life. He is believed to be the first Hindu to start an orphanage for the unfortunate children. Jyotiba’s quest for providing women and girls with the right to education was supported by his wife Savitribai Phule. One of the few literate women of the time, Savitribai was taught to read and write by her husband Jyotirao. In 1848, Mahatma Phule established a girls' school and asked his wife to teach the girls in the school. In 1873, Jyotiba Phule formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth). He undertook a systematic deconstruction of existing beliefs and history, only to reconstruct an equality promoting version. The purpose of the Satya Shodhak Samaj was to decontaminate the society from caste discrimination and liberate the oppressed lower-caste people from the stigmas inflicted by the Brahmins. His most noteworthy contribution was his efforts for the education and empowerment of women. The wada has now been converted into a museum where visitors can learn about the life of the great reformer. The museum also displays some famous and inspirational books written by Mahatma Phule like 'Slavery', 'cultivator's whip-cord', 'Pavada' and ‘Gulamgiri’. On entering the Wada, one can spot a well which is important historically since at a time when even the shadow of untouchables was considered impure when the people were unwilling to offer water to thirsty untouchables, Savitribai Phule and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule opened the well in their house for the use of untouchables. Visitors generally bow down before the half statue of Mahatma Phule in the courtyard of the house. The wada is a good example of architecture and lifestyle of 19th century. The phulewada is so virtuous that famous celebrities like Mr.Nelson Mandela had also visited there and Baba Ambedkar also follows and pursued Mahatma Phule personally. All the above information and facts were explained in depth to the students by Professor Abhishek Bhosle and the idea of the visit was initiated by Dr. Rajnesh Kumar Pandey. Also the visit was accompanied by both the faculties.
During the visit, students of BAJMC (First year) got an opportunity to learn from the struggles of Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule. Also the trip was truly beneficial for the students as they got a new vision to understand their society. It was interesting for the Journalism students to know that how Mahatma Phule used the social spaces to raise awareness and raise questions against the dominant powerful setup which was prevailing in his time. Students were very surprised when they came to know that in 1880, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule walked all the way from Pune to Raigad fort. He discovered the mausoleum (samadhi) of Chatrapati Shivaji maharaj (which was built by his son, Chhatrapati Sambhaji maharaj) hidden in the dense forest. He cleared the place and paid respect to the greatest king this soil has ever produced.
The visit finally ended well at 3:30 pm. This visit was well supported by Professor Mayuresh Belsare (HOD, JMC) and all the faculties of Journalism & Mass Communication.