They Dared to Dream

They Dared to Dream

They dared to dream of better tomorrow, 
Ostracised, humiliated, exiled. 
They took the plunge and swam against the flow,
Challenged a society ossified.

An ode to Jyotiba and Savitri. 
They dared to dream of better tomorrow
Where women are not confined but set free,
Right to education to help them grow.

Unshackled women, battled status quo,
Built them schools, against conservative views. 
They dared to dream of better tomorrow, 
Received nothing but stones, dung and abuse. 

Forgotten heroes of a noble cause. 
My every word, thought, verse to them I owe.
Today I can write, read, support because
They dared to dream of better tomorrow.
Author’s Note: This is a tribute to the pioneers of women’s education in India – Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule. They were instrumental in spearheading the movement against caste and gender-based discrimination. They were staunch proponents of education for women and the downtrodden. They set up India’s first girls’ school in Pune in 1848. 
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