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Published in History & Culture

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Published in History & Culture

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Own Circumstances made Karve a Social Reformer and great Educator

It is Dhondo Karve who spent his entire life for betterment of women of India when he actually experienced himself the state of abuse. Unforgettable contribution of Dhondo Keshav Karve (b. 18 Apr 1858 — d. 9 Nov 1962) He was a social reformer and educator who contributed his life for Hindu widow and their remarriages. He claimed that every widow of India should get remarry. Also...

"Dhondo Keshav Karve was a social reformer and important figure in life of women's developments. It is true that state of affairs makes humans think beyond when the experiences become a good teacher."


"Dhondo Keshav Karve was a social reformer and important figure in life of women's developments. It is true that state of affairs makes humans think beyond when the experiences become a good teacher."

It is Dhondo Karve who spent his entire life for betterment of women of India when he actually experienced himself the state of abuse. Unforgettable contribution of Dhondo Keshav Karve (b. 18 Apr 1858 — d. 9 Nov 1962) He was a social reformer and educator who contributed his life for Hindu widow and their remarriages. He claimed that every widow of India should get remarry. Also, get quality education for their better life. He took care their education as well.

Important life events and contribution of Dhondo Keshav Karve

Karve was great at mathematics, in the year 1891 he was one of the professors of science of number at Fergusson College in Pune, Maharashtra. In his lifetime, he wrote two autobiography (Atmawrutta and Looking Back) in English. He also established “Widow Marriage Association” in 1893

Hindu Widows at the Mission in Bombay Plate History of India Vol 1 (1906)
Hindu Widows at the Mission in Bombay Plate History of India Vol 1 (1906)
An engraving by poison after a painting by Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814).
An engraving by poison after a painting by Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814).
According to the photo “Women who had lost their husbands and who had no sons to support them were often treated as outcasts in Indian society. They were no longer permitted to wear the traditional 'choli' or blouse under their saris. ('Voyage to the East Indies and China, made by order of the king, from 1774 to 1781'), published in 1782.”

Maharshi Karve himself married to a widow when his first wife Radhabai died in 1891 and received many criticisms as well as shocks from public opinions. He had to leave his home town (sheravali, Dapoli) due to his remarriage to a widow Godubai. However, Karve was showing no regret on his decision. He took no time to proceed with ostracized life. And decided to help all Hindu widow to get remarry. Karve helped starts their new marriage with new soulmate. He also raised a voice against ardent-full traditional tonsure of Brahmin widow and their abuse publicly.

Maharshi Karve established First Indian Woman’s University was the first university for women in India in 1916 in Pune. And started with single digit students. The university soon became worth 15 lacks and renamed to Shrimant Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT). SNDT is well grown university nowadays and affiliated with many colleges in India.

Both Karve and Jyotiba Phule together fought against untouchability and caste discrimination. The government of India awarded Dhondo with Bharat Ratna in 1958

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