Baba Amte Birth Anniversary: Achievements and Contributions of Legendary Social Activist

Last Updated: December 26, 2022, 06:10 IST

BABA AMTE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: Often referred to as the last follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Amte dedicated his life to serving humanity.

BABA AMTE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: Often referred to as the last follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Amte dedicated his life to serving humanity.

BABA AMTE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: Often referred to as the last follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Amte dedicated his life to serving humanity. Murlidhar Devidas Amte, better known as Baba Amte, was a lawyer and social activist. He is known for his work for the upliftment of the poor and the people suffering from leprosy.

Born on December 26, 1914, in Wardha district of Maharashtra, Amte had a comfortable childhood. However, an encounter with a patient with leprosy changed his outlook and he dedicated his life to serving the downtrodden people of society. Baba Amte dedicated his life to serving humanity.

On the occasion of his 108th birth anniversary, here is a look back on his achievements and contributions to society.

Achievements

Baba Amte extensively worked with leprosy patients and was involved in various other causes, including the protection of the environment and religious tolerance. For his outstanding work, he was conferred several awards. These awards include the Padma Shri Award in 1971, the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1985 and the Padma Vibhushan Award in 1986.

He was also the recipient of the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights (1988), as well as the Gandhi Peace Prize (1999). The Rashtriya Bhushan award was bestowed on him in 1978 by the FIE Foundation.

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Baba Amte has also been a recipient of the prestigious Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 1979.

Contribution

Baba Amte, at a young age, had an encounter with a man suffering from advanced leprosy that changed his entire life. Amte turned his attention to the disease and began to study it. He even worked at a leprosy clinic and took a course on it at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine.

In 1949 Amte founded Anandwan in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. This was an ashram dedicated to the treatment, rehabilitation and empowerment of leprosy patients. Anandwan also helped people from marginalized sections of society to become self-sufficient by providing them with livelihood training.

He organised the Bharat Jodo Abhiyan to re-imbibe the spirit of national integration during a time when communal strife was at its peak. In 1986, Baba Amte, despite his poor health, set out on a march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. While traveling a distance of 5,042 kilometres, he had 100 men and 16 women all under 35 as his companions.

In 1990, Amte went to live along the Narmada river and joined Medha Patkar’s Narmada Bachao Andolan movement. The movement was launched to fight against the displacements of local residents and the damage the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam would cause to the environment.

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