History of Mali Samaj
Mahatma Jotiba Govindrao Phule (April 11, 1827 — November 28, 1890), also known as Mahatma Jotiba Phule was an activist, social reformer, writer, philosopher, theologist, scholar, editor and revolutionary from Maharashtra, India in the nineteenth century. Jotiba Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule were the pioneer of women's education in India. His remarkable influence was apparent in fields like education, agriculture,caste system, women and widow upliftment and removal of untouchability. He is most known for his efforts to educate women and the lower castes as well as the masses. He, after educating his wife, opened a school for girls in India in August 1848. This was the second girls school in India. Peary Charan Sarkar, a former student of Hindu College, Calcutta and a member of "Young Bengal" set up the first free school for girls in 1847 in Barasat, a suburb of Calcutta (later the school was named Kalikrishna Girls' High School).
In September, 1873, Jotirao, along with his followers, formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) with Jotirao with the main objective of the organization as to liberate the Bahujans, Shudras and Ati-Shudras and to prevent them from exploitations and atrocities. For his fight to attain equal rights for peasants and the lower caste and his contribution to the field of education, he is regarded as one of the most important figures in Social Reform Movement in Maharashtra. Dhananjay Keer, his biographer, rightly notes him as "the father of Indian social revolution”.
Savitribai Jotiba Phule (January 3, 1831 – March 10, 1897) was a social reformer, who, along with her husband, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, played an important role in improving women's rights in India during the British Rule.
Savitribai was the first female teacher of the first women's school in India and also considered as the pioneer of modern Marathi poetry. In 1852 she opened a school for (Dalit) Untouchable caste.