PUNE: After a prolonged delay in the development of a national memorial at Bhide wada in Budhwar Peth, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is now expediting the construction of a monument that holds historical significance.
This site is where social reformers Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule established the first school for girls in the country.
The proposed plan entails a two-storey building consisting of seven rooms, encompassing a total built-up area of 6,212 square feet. According to a civic officer, PMC is determined to avoid any further time wastage in the construction of the memorial.
The envisioned structure will serve as a platform for visitors to acquaint themselves with the area’s rich history and the pivotal decision to establish a school for girls.
Recently, the Bombay High Court dismissed a petition that had been pending for 12 years, challenging PMC’s plan to erect a national monument in Bhidewada. The court urged the administration to proceed with the acquisition of land for the project.
The Budhwar peth, a historically significant area in Pune, is home to a remarkable wada that holds great importance in the history of modern education in India. This wada, located in Budhwar Peth and facing the renowned Dagdusheth Halwai Temple, is not only a socio-cultural landmark but also a symbol of the progressive decision to establish the first girls school in India.
Despite facing immense opposition from society, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitri Bai Phule took a bold step and established this school, making it a significant memorial today. To highlight the historical significance of this site, it is crucial to declare it as a state-protected heritage building. As part of the proposed memorial, the ground floor will feature a statue of Savitribai Phule at the entrance.
Additionally, this floor will house a spacious 633-square feet room where statues will depict a class of girls studying under Savitribai Phule. A smaller 124-sqft room will be situated at the center, along with a 394-sqft Headmaster’s room. Moving to the first floor, there will be a well-designed 633-sqft room that will serve multiple purposes, including housing a library and displaying educational charts. Adjacent to this room, a smaller 124-sqft room will be available, along with a 294-sqft staff room.
By preserving and showcasing this wada, we can pay homage to the remarkable individuals who defied societal norms and paved the way for girls’ education in India. The Assembly Hall and class room, spanning an area of 1,700 sqft, will be situated on the second floor. Additionally, the basement will accommodate a parking facility capable of accommodating 12 four-wheelers, as the monument is anticipated to attract numerous visitors.