Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, affectionately known as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination of Dalits. Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was the principal architect of India’s Constitution was a true visionary and India’s first law minister. Ambedkar was born on April 14, in the year 1891. He was a multi-faceted personality who crusaded against the inequities of the caste system and socio-economic deprivation that afflicted millions of Indians.

On the eve of BR Ambedkar’s 127th birth anniversary, here’s a look at some of the lesser-known facts about the iconic leader. Read below:

 

-Ambedkar’s original name was actually Ambavadekar, which was derived from the name of his native village Ambavade. But his teacher changed his last name from ‘Ambavadekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’ in school records.

– Since he belonged to a family of “untouchables”, as a student, Babasaheb was not allowed to sit in the classroom with students from the higher castes. When he wanted a drink of water, a person from a higher caste would pour water for him from a distance as he was not allowed to either touch the water or the vessel – a grim reality for some members of the community even today. The task of pouring out water in this manner for the lower-caste students was mainly assigned to a peon. However, if the peon was not present, Babasaheb and other students from his caste were forced to remain thirsty.

-Babasaheb was awarded a scholarship and sent to America to pursue his higher education. He also held the position of the principal of the Government Law College, Mumbai for two years.

-Ambedkar established the Finance Commission of India. Moreover, he was a professional economist until 1927. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was conceptualized under the guidelines, working style and outlook presented by Dr. Ambedkar in front of the Hilton Young Commission.

-Ambedkar is responsible for restricting the working hours from 14 hours every day to 8 hours. He brought this in the 7th session of Indian Labor Conference in New Delhi on November 27, 1942.

-He was the first Minister of Law and Justice and stayed in office from August 29, 1947, to January 24, 1950.

-Dr. B R Ambedkar is one of the major reasons for the abolition of untouchability in India. He organized various protests and launched active movements with an objective of upliftment of the untouchables.

-Dr. B R Ambedkar is known as the ‘Father of Indian Constitution as he was the chief architect of the Constitution of India.

-Ambedkar wrote an autobiography called Waiting for a Visa, which was written between 1935 to 1936.

-Less than two months before he died, Babasaheb converted into Buddhism – along with some 3,65,000 of his followers in Nagpur. He died peacefully on 6 December 1956 in Delhi. He was cremated according to the Buddhist rituals which were attended by half a million people.