Lilavati Bajirao Phalke

Never Stop Learning

Lilavati Bajirao Phalke was married off at the age of 10. Even though she was a bright child she had to quit school after the third standard. That’s when her formal education came to a full stop. However, the only lessons she learnt from that day was the hard lessons life teaches.

Lilavati Bajirao Phalke was born in the year 1939 at Mashuchiwadi, Dist. Sangli, Maharashtra, to a school teacher’s family that had two daughters and 2 sons. Being the eldest she had to help her mother in household chores along with farm work. At that time society followed the strange custom of marrying off girls at the young age of 10 or 11. Even though she was a bright child she had to quit school after the third standard. That’s when her formal education came to a full stop.

However, the actual learning of what a hard life teaches started. She had to work as an agricultural labourer since her husband lost his share of the agricultural land for some reasons. But she had one ambition to educate her two children. Her son went on to become a first doctor from village Padali, Dist Satara. He could complete his education only because of my grandmother’s hard work and determination.

She is now 80 years old and still strong enough to do any work. She makes beautiful hand woven woollen shawls in a week’s time, an art which she learnt during her stay in Kashmir since grandfather was a hawaldar in the army.

She has helped all her sisters and brothers in their bad times, even though most of them had turned their back on their poor sister in her hard times. That's the story of my "Mahatari Aai" a rokhthok women who stands by her principles and exhibits strength, courage and determination.


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