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Ramabai Ranade – Robust Supporter of Women’s Rights and Wife of Mahadev Ranade


Ramabai Ranade

Quick Facts

  • Name: Ramabai Ranade
  • Famous As: Social Worker
  • Known For: Women Education, Founding Seva Sadan
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Birth Date: 25 January 1863 (Satara District, Maharashtra)
  • Died On: 25 January 1924


While talking about the best and the first female right activists of the 19th century, Ramabai Ranade is a very common name that will be noted. She was born in a Kurlekar family and worked as a social worker and female rights activist during her lifetime from 1863 to 1924. Born in an era where the women had to face many inequalities and were not allowed to go to school, Ramabai started to learn reading and writing with the support of her husband Mahadev Govind Ranade with whom she got married at a small age of just 11 years.

The Early Life of Ramabai Ranade

Ramabai Ranade who is seen as a pioneer to all the women rights and movements for them was born on 25 January 1863 in a small Kurlekar family living in Maharashtra. Her husband Mahadev Govind Ranade played a great role in her success. Being a part of such a small family she was not allowed to study and was married to Mahadev in 1873. He was an important and chief member of the reforms movement. He helped Ramabai in becoming a great wife and a well-educated social worker too. It was all due to his support that Ramabai devoted whole life in helping women and fighting for their basic rights.

Personal Life

Born in a small family of Maharashtra, Ramabai was not allowed to study. Like the other girls of the village, she was married at an early age of 11. Fortunately, her husband Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade was a well-educated person who was very supportive. He inspired her to complete her education and gave her regular lessons on all subjects including history and political science too. He wanted her to live all her dreams without any fear of the society. After the unfortunate death of her husband, Ramabai decided to continue walking on the path shown by him. She came out as a famous and social worker and feminist of her time.

Professional Life

Ramabai wanted to study but her parents did not educate her as they belonged to a small backward family. Her husband helped her to achieve this dream and gave her regular lessons on all subjects to educate her. He discussed all the current affairs with her and made her read the newspaper every day. The first girl’s high school in Pune was established by Ramabai along with the support of her husband and other colleagues in 1886. She made her first public move in the 1870’s but she completely got involved in her work after 1901 when her husband died. She then contributed to many societies that worked for the welfare of the people especially the women. She was the founder and manager of two great societies called Seva Sadan opened in Mumbai and Pune. She was the Chairperson of a conference by the women welfare society held in 1904 at Bombay.

Postage stamp issued to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Ramabai Ranade in 1962

Service to the Needy

She was always ready to help the needy ones especially the women who were continuously fighting for their rights. She, along with her Seva Sadan members, was always there to help the women in need and took care of all requirements to help them lead a normal life back again. She became more serious and dedicated towards this cause after the death of her husband in 1901. She became aware of the problems that are faced by the widows and tried to help them in every possible manner. Many supporters and relatives of late Mahadev Govind Ranade also helped her in this and this is how she became the most renowned and successful social worker of her time.


Written By: Milan Bhardwaj


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