Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar

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Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar (7 February 1898 – 27 May 1935) was the strong and supportive woman behind Ambedkar’s success. She was the first wife of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar and her support was instrumental in helping him pursue his higher education and true potential.  Due to her humility and compassion, she is affectionately remembered as Ramai or Mother Rama. 

In dedication to Ramabai, B.R. Ambedkar wrote a book named Thoughts on Pakistan, published in 1941. In the preface of this book, Ambedkar even credits her with his transformation from an ordinary Bhiva or Bhima to Dr. Ambedkar. 

A number of landmarks across India have been named after her. One of the popular statues of Ramabai Ambedkar is in Pune, Maharashtra which was unveiled by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on 30 May 2015.

Early Life

Ramabai was born to Bhiku Dhotre (Valangkar) and Rukmini and had a brother named Shankar and three sisters. She belonged to a poor family and lived in the Mahapura locality within the village of Vanand near Dapoli Ratnagiri. His father used to carry baskets of fish from Harnai Bunder & Dabhol harbor to the market to earn his livelihood. Her mother died when she was young and later her father also died. Thereafter, her uncles Valangkar and Govindpurkar took the children to Bombay to live with them in Byculla market.

Ramabai’s Marriage

1906 was the year when Ramabai married Ambedkar in a very simple ceremony in the vegetable market of Byculla, Mumbai. At this time, Ramabai was fifteen years old and Ambedkar was eight years old. Ramabai was affectionately called “Ramu” by Ambedkar while she called him by the name “Saheb”. She gave birth to five children –  Yashwant, Gangadhar, Ramesh, Indu (daughter) and Rajratna. Among these, Yashwant(1912–1977) remained alive while the other four died in their childhood.

Ramabai Legacy & Influence 

Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar 1 2 Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar
Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar 13

Ramabai has remained the popular subject of a number of biographical movies, and books. Her life is featured in the following:

Movie, Television, & Drama

  • Ramai, a 1992 drama directed by Ashok Gawali
  • Bhim Garjana, a 1990 Marathi film directed by Vijay Pawar, the role of Ramabai Ambedkar was played by Prathama Devi.
  • Yugpurush Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a 1993 Marathi film directed by Shashikant Nalavade, the role of Ramabai Ambedkar was played by Chitra Koppikar.
  • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a 2000 English film directed by Jabbar Patel, the role of Ramabai Ambedkar was played by Sonali Kulkarni.
  • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a 2005 Kannada film directed by Sharan Kumar Kabbur, the role of Ramabai Ambedkar was played by Tara Anuradha.
  • Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, a 2011 Marathi film directed by Prakash Jadhav, the role of Ramabai Ambedkar was played by Nisha Parulekar.
  • Ramabai, a 2016 Kannada film directed by M. Ranganath, the role of Ramabai Ambedkar was played by Yagna Shetty.
  • Dr. Ambedkar, a Hindi television series aired on DD National.
  • Garja Maharashtra (2018–19), a Marathi television series aired on Sony Marathi.
  • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar – Mahamanvachi Gauravgatha (2019), a Marathi television series airing on Star Pravah starring Shivani Rangole as Ramabai Ambedkar while Mrunmayi Supal portrayed the young version of the character.


  • Ramai, by Yashwant Manohar
  • Tyagawanti Rama Mauli, by Nana Dhakulkar, Vijay Publications (Nagpur)
  • Priya Ramu, by Yogiraj Bagul, Granthali Publication

Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar Biography

Born7 February 1898, Vanand, Bombay Presidency, British India(now in Maharashtra, India)
Died27 May 1935 (aged 37) Rajgruha, Bombay, British India
Other NamesRamai (Mother Rama), Ramu
SpouseB. R. Ambedkar
Children5, including Yashwant

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