Baba Amte was worn in the Wardha District, Maharashtra to Mr. Devidas and Mrs. Laxmibai Amte. Being the eldest siblings of all, he was given ‘baba’ (elder brother) as his pet name. He had a very mirthful childhood. By the time he was fourteen, he owned a gun and hunted boar and deer.
He was trained in law at Wardha and practiced the same. He became successful in the profession too. Soon Baba Amte was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies and started contributing towards Indian freedom struggle and started acting as a defense lawyer for people who were imprisoned by British authorities during Quit India Movement in 1942.
After his struggle for freedom of India, Baba Amte devoted his entire life towards the care of patients of leprosy and often allowed scientists to use his body as a medium to carry experiment to grow germs. During 1959, he started three medical ashrams to treat such patients. He carried out his own social project in the state of Maharashtra to stop injustice against leprosy patients. Also, in the year 1985, Baba started ‘Bharat Jodo’ campaign from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh in the year 1988. He wanted to reinstate peace and create environmental awareness.
At the End
In 1990, Baba Amte joined hands with Medha Patkar for “Narmada Bachao” (Save River Narmada) movement, opposing the unplanned construction of Sardar Sarovar dam. Later he shifted to live near Narmada only till he died. He died on February 9, 2008.
Awards and Recognition
Baba Amte was conferred the Civilian award – Padma Shree in the year 1971 and Padma Vibhushan in the year 1986. The Welfare of the Disabled award was presented to him in the year 1986 and Gandhi Peace Prize in 1999. Among the host of international awards Baba Amte got were Damien-Dutton Award in 1983, the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1985.