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Yesubai Ganesh Savarkar

(1885 – 1919) – (Maharashtra)

Saraswatibai (Aged 34), also known as Yesubai, was born in 1885 in Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra. She married Ganesh Savarkar in 1896, and although she did not take an active role in the Indian freedom struggle, she supported her husband’s efforts. Ganesh established a young women’s union, preserved poet Govinda’s works, and supported members of the revolutionary organization Mitra Mela (Abhinav Bharat).

The work of Yesuba included:

  1. Swadeshi Vrata: Yesubai adopted the Swadeshi Vrata in 1905, wearing bangles made of black beads instead of glass and stopping consumption of foreign sugar which were coming from abroad
  2. Atmanishtha Yuvati Sangh: During the arrest of most members of Mitra Mela for treason, their wives and children faced difficulty, but the self-sacrificing youth team provided courage. They met every Friday, read and discussed newspaper headlines, and spread Swadeshi vows from village to village..
  3. Preservation of Poet Govinda’s Poems: The booklets printed by Babarao Savarkar were confiscated after the arrest of Ganesh Savarkar, all these poems were memorized by Yesubai.
  4. Circumstances of Yesubai: When Ganesh Savarkar was arrested in 1908 and Babarao Savarkar was in Mumbai, Yesubai knew that the police would raid her house in Nashik on that day. She quickly hid and destroyed some important material, with the help of Vishwanath Kelkar. By four o’clock in the morning, the work was done and half an hour later, the police raided. Due to Yesubai’s quick actions, no important evidence was found by the police.

After moving to Mumbai in 1916, Yesubai and Narayan Rao made multiple attempts to secure permission for Babarao Savarkar to visit the Andamans, but their applications were mostly rejected. Towards the end of 1918, Yesubai fell ill and experienced delusions, often believing that her husband Babarao had come to visit her. On February 8, 1919, Narayan Rao received a letter granting permission for Yesubai to meet her husband, but it was too late. Yesubai had passed away three days earlier on February 5, 1919, at the young age of 34.