Amte, who passed away a decade ago in February 2008, spent his life serving leprosy patients and working for their rehabilitation.
Google, on Wednesday, honoured the late social worker and reformer Baba Amte on his 104th birth anniversary with a colourful Google Doodle.
Amte, who passed away a decade ago in February 2008, spent his life serving leprosy patients and working for their rehabilitation. The doodle, a five-panel slideshow, showcases Amte’s service to humanity.
Amte was born on December 26, 1914 to a wealthy family of landlords of Hinganghat in Wardha district of Maharashtra. As a child he used to play with children of other castes and eat with servants. He was a freedom-fighter whom Mahatma Gandhi had reportedly called “abhay sadhak” (fearless seeker of truth).
An encounter with 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.
Amte went to the Kolkata School of Tropical Medicine and learnt how to treat leprosy patients with the wonder drug diamino-diphenyl sulphone. He educated society to remove the stigma of the disease that had made the life of the patients so miserable.
Amte also 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. He had two sons, Prakash Amte and Vikas Amte, both doctors who work among the tribals of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.