Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar

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Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar
Ramabai Ambedkar - wife of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.jpg
Ramabai Ambedkar
Born(1898-02-07)7 February 1898
Died27 May 1935(1935-05-27) (aged 37)
Rajgruha house, Bombay, Maharashtra, British India
Other namesRamai (Mother Rama), Ramu
Spouse(s)B. R. Ambedkar

Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar (7 February 1898 - 27 May 1935; also known as Ramai or Mother Rama) was the first wife of B. R. Ambedkar,[1] who said her support was instrumental in helping him pursue his higher education and his true potential.[2] She has been the subject of a number of biographical movies and books. A number of landmarks across India have been named after her.

Early life[edit]

B. R. Ambedkar with his family members at Rajgruha, his residence in Hindu Colony, Dadar (Bombay) on February 1934. From left – Yashwant (son), Ambedkar, Ramabai (wife), Laxmibai (wife of his elder brother, Balaram) and Ambedkar’s favourite dog, Toby.

Ramabai was born in a poor family to Bhiku Dhatre (Valangkar) and Rukmini. She lived with her three sisters and a brother, Shankar, in the Mahapura locality within the village of Vanand near Dabhol. Her father earned his livelihood by carrying baskets of fish from Dabhol harbour to the market. Her mother died when she was young and, after her father also died, her uncles Valangkar and Govindpurkar took the children to Bombay to live with them in Byculla market.[3]


B. R. Ambedkar with Ramabai

Ramabai married Ambedkar in 1906 in a very simple ceremony in the vegetable market of Byculla. At the time, Ambedkar was aged 14 and Ramabai was nine.[3] His affectionate name for her was "Ramu", while she called him "Saheb".[4]


Ramabai died on 27 May 1935 at Rajgruha in Hindu Colony, Dadar, Bombay, after a prolonged illness. She had been married to Ambedkar for 29 years.[3]

Credit by her husband[edit]

B. R. Ambedkar's book Thoughts on Pakistan, published in 1941, was dedicated to Ramabai. In the preface, Ambedkar credits her with his transformation from an ordinary Bhiva or Bhima to Dr Ambedkar.


The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind unveiled the statue of Matoshree Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, at Pune, in Maharashtra on May 30, 2018. The Governor of Maharashtra, C. Vidyasagar Rao, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale and other dignitaries are also seen.

Ramabai's life has been featured in the following:

Movies and drama[edit]


  • रमाई (Ramai) by Yashwant Manohar
  • त्यागवंती रमामाऊली (Tyagawanti Rama-mauli) by Nana Dhakulkar, Vijay Publications (Nagpur), 403 pages
  • प्रिय रामू (Priya Ramu; English: Dear Ramu) - Yogiraj Bagul, Granthali Publication, pages - 230[4]

Named after Ramabai[edit]

The following have been named after Ramabai

  • Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Girls High-school, Gargoti, Tal- Bhudargad, Dist- Kolhapur
  • Ramabai Ambedkar ground, a playground in Lucknow[5]
  • Matoshree Ramabai Ambedkar Maternity Home, a maternity home in Mumbai
  • Ramabai Ambedkar High School, a school in Nasik
  • Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, a locality in Ghatkopar Mumbai
  • Mathrusri Ramabai Ambedkar College Of Nursing, a nursing college in Bangalore[6]
  • Mathrusri Ramabai Ambedkar Dental College and hospital, a dental college in Bangalore established by the Anand Social & Educational Trust in 1986 and affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences[7]
  • Ramabai Ambedkar Government Degree College Gajraula, Uttar Pradesh[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khajane, Muralidhara (2016-04-15). "The life and times of Ramabai Ambedkar". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  2. ^ a b "'Ramai' portrays poignant and tragic life of Ramabai Ambedkar - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  3. ^ a b c Manohar, Yashwant. Ramabai. India: Pratima Publications. p. 51. ISBN 9788192647111.
  4. ^ a b "महापुरुषाची सावली". Loksatta (in Marathi). 3 December 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Mayawati lashes out at Modi for indulging in politics over Uttarakhand floods". Jagran Post. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  6. ^ "Mathrusri Ramabai Ambedkar College Of Nursing Bangalore Bangalore - Karnataka". Icbse.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  7. ^ "MRADC". Mradc.ac.in. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  8. ^ "Ramabai Ambedkar Govt. Degree College (RBAGDC), Gajraula - 2018 Admission, Courses, Fees". CollegeDekho.com. Retrieved 1 December 2018.