RAMABAI AMBEDKAR DEATH BIRTHDAY: Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, wife of Dr BR Ambedkar, is fondly remembered as Ramai or Mother Rama. Ramabai was known for her humility, resilience and compassion. Not many people know that Babasaheb Ambedkar’s life was greatly influenced by her. Ramabai helped the father of India’s constitution seek higher education abroad and supported his social justice efforts.
On the occasion of Ramabai’s death anniversary, here are a few lesser-known facts about her:
- Ramabai was born in 1898 into a poor Dalit family. She was the second daughter of Bhiku Dhatre Valangkar, who was a labourer. From the port of Dabhol, her father brought baskets of fish to the market.
- Ramabai lost both her parents at a young age. She and her three siblings were raised by her uncles in Mumbai.
- In 1906 she married Babasaheb Ambedkar in Byculla. Ramabai was nine years old when she married Babasaheb, who was 15 at the time. While Ramabai called her husband ‘Saheb’, her husband called her ‘Ramu’.
- Ramabai supported BR Ambedkar’s ambitions and she even encouraged him to pursue higher education abroad.
- While Ambedkar was abroad for his studies, Ramabai went through hardships, but it didn’t stop her from encouraging him to pursue his goal. Ramabai used to make cakes from cow dung and wear them on her head to use as cheap household fuel.
- Babasaheb Ambedkar and Ramabai had a daughter, Indu and four sons – Yashwant, Gangadhar, Ramesh and Rajratna. Yashwant was the only child to survive adulthood.
- After a long illness, Ramabai breathed her last on May 26, 1935.
- BR Ambedkar acknowledged her influence on his life through his book Thoughts on Pakistan. About his beloved wife he remembered her “goodness of heart, her noble mind and her purity of character and also for the cool steadfastness and willingness to suffer”.
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