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Murlidhar Devidas Amte (Baba Amte) Biography

Murlidhar Devidas Amte (Baba Amte) Biography


Murlidhar Devidas Amte, commonly known as Baba Amte,(26 December 1914 – 9 February 2008) was an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for his work for the rehabilitation and empowerment of people suffering from leprosy.
He and his wife, Sadhna Amte started an organization for leprosy patients at Anandwan in 1950. This pioneering work was started as an Aarogya.He has received numerous awards and prizes including the Padma Vibhushan, the Dr. Ambedkar International Award, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Templeton Prize and the Jamnalal Bajaj Award.
Early life
Baba Amte was born to Mr. Devidas Amte and Mrs. Laxmibai Amte in the city of Hinganghatin Wardha District of Maharashtra on 26 December 1914 into a wealthy family. His father was a British government officer working for the district administration and revenue collection departments.Murlidhar had acquired his nickname Baba in his childhood.
Trained in law, he developed a successful legal practice in Wardha. He soon became involved in the Indian struggle for freedom from the British Raj and started working as a defense lawyer in 1942 for leaders involved with the Indian freedom movement whom the British authorities had imprisoned during the Quit India movement.He spent some time at Sevagram ashram started by Mahatma Gandhi and became a follower of Gandhism for the rest of his life.When Gandhi got to know that Dr. Amte had saved a girl from the lewd taunts of British soldiers, Gandhi gave him the name – Abhay Sadhak (Fearless Seeker of Truth).
Family
Amte married Indu Ghuleshastri (later called Sadhanatai Amte).She participated in her husband's social work with equal dedication. Their two sons, Vikas Amte and Prakash Amte, and daughters-in-law, Mandakini and Bharati, are doctors.Their two sons, Dr. Digant and Aniket also dedicated their lives to the same causes.


Anandwan 
In those days, people with leprosy suffered a social stigma and the society disowned these people.Amte founded three ashrams for treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy patients, disabled people and people from marginalised sections of the society in Maharashtra. On 15 August 1949, he started a hospital in Anandvan under a tree. In 1973, Amte founded the Lok Biradari Prakalp to work for the Madia Gond tribal people of Gadchiroli District.Amte devoted his life to many other social causes.Amte's elder son Vikas and his wife Bharati run the hospital at Anandwan and co-ordinate operations with satellite projects.Anandwan has a university, an orphanage, and schools for the blind and the deaf. The Anandwan ashram is self-sufficient and has over 5,000 residents and is recognised around the world. Amte later founded "Somnath" and "Ashokwan" ashrams for people suffering from leprosy.
Gandhism
Amte followed Gandhi's way of life and led a spartan life. He wore khadi clothes made from the looms at Anandwan. He believed in Gandhi's concept of a self-sufficient village industry that empowers seemingly helpless people, and successfully brought his ideas into practice at Anandwan. Using non-violent means, he played an important role in the struggle for the independence of India.Amte also used Gandhi's principles to fight against corruption, mismanagement, and poor, shortsighted planning in the government. However, unlike Gandhi, Amte was an atheist
Death
Baba died at Anandwan in his ashram at 4.15 am on February 9, 2008. Baba Amte, aged 94, has been suffering from vertebral problems for a long time. For some time he suffered from blood cancer. However, he has worked on the ideals of his beliefs till the last resort, and his ambition has been the goal. He was cremated by the Maharashtra government on February 10, His ultimate desire was to be cremated rather than burning the physical body.
Quotes
"I don't want to be a great leader; I want to be a man who goes around with a little oilcan and when he sees a breakdown, offers his help. To me, the man who does that is greater than any holy man in saffron-coloured robes. The mechanic with the oilcan: that is my ideal in life."(Self-description given to British journalist Graham Turner)
"I took up leprosy work not to help anyone, but to overcome that fear in my life. That it worked out good for others was a by-product. But the fact is I did it to overcome fear."
Awards
Padma Shri, 1971
Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1985
Padma Vibhushan, 1986
United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights,1988
Rashtriya Bhushan, 1978: FIE Foundation Ichalkaranji (INDIA)
Jamnalal Bajaj Award, 1979 for Constructive Work
N.D. Diwan Award, 1980: National Society for Equal Opportunities for the 'Handicapped' (NASEOH), Bombay
Ramshastri Award, 1983
Indira Gandhi Memorial Award, 1985
Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award, 1986
Fr. Maschio Platinum Jubilee Award, 1987
G.D. Birla International Award, 1988
Mahadeo Balwant Natu Puraskar, 1991
Adivasi Sewak Award, 1991
Kusumagraj Puraskar, 1991
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Dalit Mitra Award, 1992
Shri Nemichand Shrishrimal Award, 1994
Fr. Tong Memorial Award, 1995
Kushta Mitra Puraskar, 1995
Bhai Kanhaiya Award, 1997
Manav Sewa Award, 1997
Sarthi Award, 1997
Mahatma Gandhi Charitable Trust Award, 1997
Gruhini Sakhi Sachiv Puraskar, 1997
Kumar Gandharva Puraskar, 1998
Apang Mitra Puraskar, 1998
Bhagwan Mahaveer Award, 1998
Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Award, 1998
Justice K. S. Hegde Foundation Award, 1998
Baya Karve Award, 1998
Savitribai Phule Award, 1998
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Award, 1988
Satpaul Mittal Award, 1998
Adivasi Sevak Puraskar, 1998
Gandhi Peace Prize, 1999
Dr. Ambedkar International Award for Social Change, 1999
Maharashtra Bhushan Award, 2004
On 26 December 2018 his birthday, Google dedicated doodle to honor him.


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