Google honours social worker Baba Amte with a doodle on his 104th birthday anniversary

In 1949, they established Anandwan — meaning “Forest of Bliss” — a self-sufficient village and rehabilitation centre for leprosy patients

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On Wednesday, Google honoured Indian social worker and activist Murlidhar Devidas Amte who is also known as Baba Amte on his 104th birthday anniversary

Amte was born on December 16, 1914, in a wealthy family in Wardha district of Maharashtra. His father was a British government official who used to look after the district administration and revenue collection. When Amte was in his 20s, he studied law and was running his own successful firm. 


At the age of 30, he left his practice in order to work alongside the underprivileged. Meanwhile, he met Indu Ghuleshastri, whose kindness towards an elderly servant touched Amte, and the two married soon after. 

In 1949 Baba Amte and his wife established Anandwan — meaning “Forest of Bliss” — a self-sufficient village and rehabilitation centre for leprosy patients.

He dedicated his life to serving those in need, especially those afflicted with leprosy after encountering a man suffering from the disease. He dedicated his entire life to the cause and defied the social stigmas faced by leprosy patients by injecting himself with bacilli to prove that the disease was not highly contagious.

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In March 1985, Amte launched the first Knit India March where he walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir at the age of 72, with the simple purpose to inspire unity in India. Three years later, he travelled over 1800 miles from Assam to Gujarat. 

Amte has won several awards including the 1971 Padma Shri Award, the 1988 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, and the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize. 

He is survived by his two sons who share the same legacy as their father’s. Amte died on February 9, 2008.

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