They say behind every successful man is a woman. This sentiment holds true in many instances where the journey of accomplished individuals is intertwined with the influence of a significant woman.
Such was the case in the life of Babasaheb Ambedkar, where a remarkable woman played a pivotal role in his transformation into Babasaheb. Today, on her birthday, we honor Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, the unsung hero behind the iconic figure of Babasaheb.
Who Was Ramabai?
Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, also known as Ramai or Mata Ram, was born on February 7, 1898, into a humble Dalit family in Dabhol, a small village in Maharashtra. Her life intersected profoundly with that of Babasaheb Ambedkar, influencing his path to greatness. Babasaheb himself acknowledged the significant role Ramabai played in his life’s journey.
A Lifelong Partnership Ramabai’s union with Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar began at a young age when she married him at the age of 18 in 1906. Remarkably, Ramabai was three years older than Babasaheb at the time of their marriage. The bond between them transcended conventional norms, as Ramabai affectionately addressed her husband as “Saheb.” Their marital journey, though marred by challenges, was marked by unwavering support and solidarity.
Standing Together Through Adversity Ramabai stood steadfastly by Dr. Ambedkar’s side, providing unwavering support as he pursued his ambitions for higher education and social reform.
Despite facing numerous trials and tribulations, she remained a pillar of strength for her husband. Their family life, though touched by tragedy with the loss of four of their children in infancy, was anchored in love and resilience.
Ramabai’s influence on Dr. Ambedkar’s life was profound and enduring. In his book “Thoughts on Pakistan,” published in 1940, Babasaheb Ambedkar attributed much of his transformation from Bhimrao to Dr. Ambedkar to the influence of Ramabai.
He dedicated the book to his beloved wife, acknowledging her role in shaping his identity and vision.
A Lasting Legacy Ramabai’s life may have been tragically short, as she passed away at the age of 37 on May 26, 1935, after battling prolonged illness. However, her impact on Dr. Ambedkar’s life and legacy endures. Their marriage, spanning 29 years, was a testament to their shared commitment to each other’s dreams and aspirations.
As we commemorate Ramabai’s birthday, we recognize her as more than just the wife of a great leader. She was a source of inspiration, courage, and unwavering support to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, propelling him towards his extraordinary destiny.
Her influence, though often overlooked, remains an integral part of Babasaheb’s remarkable journey from adversity to triumph.
In honoring Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, we pay tribute to the countless unsung heroines whose contributions have shaped history. Her legacy serves as a reminder of the transformative power of love, resilience, and unwavering support in the face of adversity.