Susie Sorabji

Susie Sorabji

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Category: Social Work , Education

Susie Sorabji Profile

  • Name:
  • Susie Sorabji
  • Died:
  • March 15, 1931
  • Father:
  • Reverend Sorabji Karsedji
  • Mother:
  • Francina Sorabji

Susie Sorabji Biography

Susie Sorabji was an Indian educator and Christian missionary from Maharashtra, who lived in British India during 1868 – 15 March 1931. She is known for advocating girls’ education in India, similar to her mother Francina Sorabji and her sister Cornelia Sorabji. She supported the temperance movement and Girl Guides of India, but opposed India’s freedom struggle movement like other members of her family. However her family, of Parsi origin is best known as intellectuals and for their educational standards in India, at a time when educating a girl child was taboo in the society.


Sorabji was born in Solapur, Maharashtra in 1868. She was the daughter of Christian missionary Reverend Sorabji Karsedji and his wife, Francina Sorabji, a woman activist and educator. She was born in in Sholapur, Maharashtra into a family with Parsi roots. She had 8 siblings, of whom two died young. She had 6 sisters. The children were brought up in a progressive environment. She belongs to a family of intellectuals and female members with good education and also rose to prominent positions in the society in the pre-independent India. She later followed her mother in educational work, and helped in establishing schools and educating girls and women. Her mother, who originally belonged to a Hindu family was an adopted daughter of Lady Cornelia Maria Darling Ford, daughter of Sir Ralph Darling.


She is the sibling of well-known figure Cornelia Sorabji is a prominent name, who was India’s first female lawyer and graduate from Bombay University. She was also the first woman to practice law in Britain and India, apart from earning law degree from Oxford University. Well-known physician Alice Maude Sorabji Pennell was her youngest sister while Alice’s husband Theodore Leighton Pennell was a Christian missionary and doctor who lived among the tribes of Afghanistan. Most of their family members served as Christian missionaries, though belonging to Parsi family. Philosopher Sir Richard Sorabji is her nephew. Her father was a missionary who advocated for girl child education and a key figure to play an important role in admitting girls as students to Bombay University.


Susie Sorabji extensively travelled to foreign countries, attended international conferences, delivered lectures and met people for fund raising for their schools opened in Pune to educate girls. She also started a kindergarten, and trained kindergarten teachers for work in other schools. She did both literacy and missionary work. Sorabji had chronic health issues, including vision problems.

Published: February 03, 2019

Updated: February 03, 2019


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