On December 26, Google pays tribute to a social worker and activist Murlidhar Devidas Amte, affectionately known as Baba Amte with a doodle on his 104th birthday anniversary. The picture slideshow honours the life and legacy of Baba Amte and remembers the hardships of his life. He was the man who dedicated his life to serve those in need, especially those afflicted with leprosy.
Baba Amte was born into a wealthy family in Maharashtra in 1914 but dedicated his life for the benefit of others. According to the Google blog post, “Exposed early on to a life of privilege, he would hunt wild animals, play sports and drive luxurious cars. He went on to study law and was running his own successful firm by his 20s. Despite his upbringing, however, Amte was aware of India’s class inequalities throughout his childhood.”
Amte`s life was changed forever when he encountered a man suffering from leprosy. The sight of the man`s decaying body filled him with overwhelming fear. However, he realised that the state of “mental leprosy” that allowed people to feel apathetic in the face of this dreaded affliction is far more dangerous than losing the limbs.
“A strong believer in national unity, Amte launched the first Knit India March in 1985. At age 72, he walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, a distance of more than 3,000 miles with the simple purpose to inspire unity in India,” Google said.
Take a look at the pictures from slideshow:
Photo Credit: Google | Amte defied the social stigmas faced by leprosy patients by injecting himself with bacilli to prove that the disease was not highly contagious.
Photo Credit: Google | In 1949 he established Anandwan—meaning “Forest of Bliss”—a self-sufficient village and rehabilitation center for leprosy patients.
Photo Credit: Google | Amte launched the first Knit India March in 1985.
Photo Credit: Google | Amte went on to win the 1971 Padma Shri Award
In 1971, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award. In 1988, he received the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, and later in 1999, he won the Gandhi Peace Prize