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Archive for February 11th, 2008

Baba Amte passes away

Posted by ajadhind on February 11, 2008


MUMBAI: Great social worker and reformer Baba Amte, who spent his life serving leprosy patients and working for their rehabilitation, passed away at 4.15 a.m. on Saturday.

The end came at his commune for leprosy patients ‘Anandvan’ at Warora village in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. He was 93.

Murlidhar Devidas Amte, popularly known as Baba, was suffering from cancer for the past several years. His health deteriorated two days ago. He is survived by sons Prakash Amte and Vikas Amte, both doctors and are on the same path of service to humanity. They work among the tribals of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.

Baba Amte was born on 26 December 1914 in a wealthy family of landlords of Hinganghat in Wardha district of Maharashtra. But as a child he used to play with children of other castes and eat with servants.

He was a freedom-fighter whom Gandhiji had called “abhay sadhak” (fearless seeker of truth). It is said that his encounter with a leprosy patients changed his life, and he made their welfare and rehabilitation a life-time mission.

He founded a commune called Anandvan Ashram for them at Warora. where he began practising law. Soon his work spread to over 60 villages around and other parts of Maharashtra.

Baba went to the Kolkata School of Tropical Medicine and learnt how to treat the leprosy patients with the wonder drug diamino-diphenyl sulphone. But above all he educated society to remove the stigma of the disease that had made the life of the patients so miserable.

Baba Amte undertook a number of social welfare and reform activities involving youth. He undertook the ‘Bharat Jodo’ movement to unite the country and promote peace, harmony and protection of environment. He joined the Narmada Bachao Andolan to fight for the cause of the tribals.

He received many national and international awards, including Padma Vibhushan, Gandhi Peace Prize, Ramon Magsaysay and Templeton Prize. His funeral will be held on Sunday at Anandvan.

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