Google has dedicated a doodle showcasing Baba Amte’s life and bequest as a social worker and activist. Murlidhar Devidas Amte, also known as Baba Amte invested his life in the betterment of those in needs, especially people afflicted with leprosy.
He was born on December 26, 1914 into a wealthy Maharashtrian family that exposed him to a privileged life of hunting wild animals, playing sports and driving luxurious cars. With a background in law, he had already established a successful firm in his 20s. But however luxurious the upbringing might be, he was always aware of the disparity in Indian class system. He left his law practice in his 30s to help the underprivileged.
His entire life changed after encountering a person suffering from leprosy. He identified the state of “mental leprosy” which is even more frightening as people lose their strength and compassion to bear through or fight the disease.
He ruled out social stigmas by injecting bacilli with his body to prove that the disease is not highly contagious. He established “Anandwan or Forest of Bliss” in 1949, a village that was self-sufficient and acted as a rehabilitation centre for leprosy patients. He also has several other contributions like:
- the first Knit India March in 1985
- walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to inspire unity at the age of 72
- walked a second march from Gujarat to Assam
- the 1971 Padma Shri Award
- the 1988 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights
- the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize
This would have been his 104th birthday and Brainfeed along with the entire nation salute Baba Amte for his incessant contribution in service to humanity.