Malati Vishram Bedekar
Born: 18 March 1905
Died: 7 May
- She was a Marathi writer from Maharashtra, India.
- She was the first prominent feminist writer in Marathi literature.
- She also used pseudonym Vibhavari Shirurkar ( (Devanagari: विभावरी शिरूरकर).
- In her teens, Balutai’s parents sent her to stay in the hostel of the school for girls which Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve had started a few years earlier in Hingane, then in the outskirts of Pune.
- After finishing her education in that school, she graduated before her age 20 from the women’s college which Karve had also started.
- At both of those institutions, progressive ideas of Karve and his teaching colleagues like Vaman Malhar Joshi highly influenced her thinking.
- After college education, Balutai joined the teaching staff of Pune’s Kanya Shala, which again was a girls’ school being run under Karve’s guidance.
- In 1936, she left that high school in the position of its headmistress to take up a government job as an administrator of a “settlement” for certain tribes identified as “criminal” tribes by the British government ruling over India at that time.
- She met and married Vishram Bedekar in 1938, and took the name Malati Vishram Bedekar.
- She left the government job in 1940 to take up writing, voluntary social services, and participation in socialist political activities.
- She chaired a “parallel” Sahitya Sammelan (साहित्य सम्मेलन) which was held around 1980 in protest against excessive government meddling in the main Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.
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March 18, 2020