Mata Ramabai was born in a poor downtrodden family on 7 Feb 1897. She married Babasaheb in 1906 in a very simple ceremony in Byculla Market Mumbai. At the time Babasaheb was aged 15 and Mata Ramabai was 9. His affectionate name for her was ‘Ramu’ while she in return called him ‘Saheb’. They had 5 Children Yashwant and 4 others. Apart from Yashwant the other 4 died in their childhood. Balasaheb Prakash Ambedkar is a son of Yashwant and grandson of Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar. Mata Ramabai died on 27 May 1935 at Rajgruha in Mumbai after a prolonged chronic illness. They lived together only 29 years. She died at the age of 38.
Despite all the hardships, Mata Ramabai kept her husband motivated and stood like a rock behind her husband’s mission of uplifting the underprivileged.
The life of Babasaheb would not have turned the way we remember today had it not been for Mata Ramabai Ambedkar. We must remember her grit and determination while Dr B R Ambedkar was pursuing his doctoral degrees abroad, was living alone under abject powerty. The degrees that Dr Ambedkar earned reflect the immense sacrifices that Mata Ramabai made at home. Despite others suggesting Mata Ramabai to stop her husband from leaving for America for higher studies, it was her utmost trust in Babasaheb that desisted their comments and suggestions while supporting him to pursue his education abroad. Although Mata Ramabai didn’t receive any formal education, it didn’t hinder her from understanding the plight of the downtroddens and also the Injustices that took place.
Our Saviour Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar’s book ‘Thoughts on Pakistan’ published in 1941, was dedicated to Mata Ramabai. In the preface Babasaheb credits her with his transformation from ordinary ‘Bhima’ to ‘Dr Ambedkar’.
Mata Ramabai Ambedkar teaches not only humility but reiterates the virtue of perseverance and resilience even at the face of hardships.
SEWA will never forget the Pain and Struggle she had gone through to support Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar to reach his desired goal.