Monday, January 12, 2015

Baba Amte- My real life superhero.

In post about my visit to Snehalaya and other similar institutions during my last India trip I briefly mentioned about this great human being Mr. Baba Amte. These institutions are doing some great humanitarian work in various areas. Late Mr. Baba Amte is one person who always impressed me and inspired me since my college days. Unfortunately his name is not very popular outside Maharashtra and I don't know why, I am still trying to figure it out how such a great personality like him can not be known to whole India, his work is so inspiring that each and every Indian (or for that matter world citizen) can take immense pride and inspiration from it. I have read about many people who were inspired to do some social work for religious or political purpose but this was the man who dedicated all his life just for humanitarian purpose, not to get any salvation or place in heaven or any sainthood or any government award or any election victory; he served people because he really felt their pain and really loved them as just humans irrespective of their age, caste, religion or nationality. His project Anandwan (means garden of happiness) is an ideal example of his vision and dedication towards humanitarian work. Amazingly not only he and his wife dedicated their lives for this work, he was lucky enough to have kids who carried forward his work with equal sincerity and dedication. Dr. Prakash Amte's work at Hemalkasa (Lok Biradari Prakalp) is legendary. Dr. Vikas Amte takes care of Anandwan, Baba Amte's daughter-in-laws and daughters are also involved with these projects with equal dedication and commitment. It is really amazing to see how this whole family is involved with complete dedication to help people in need and distress.

I am not going to go into details of the work done by these people, I request readers to read more about them on internet or from books published about them and please try to get to know more about Anandwan and other projects to decide the quality and impact of their work. The best way to know about their work is to visit these places and interact with the people who are living there and working there. I also understand that it may not be possible for everyone to find time and resources to visit many of these places that is why internet is a great place to know as much as possible and then if possible grab any opportunity which allows to visit these places. I feel extremely lucky and privileged to know few people who are very closely involved in helping these projects, they keep me aware about what is going on and I am really thankful for them for all their efforts to educate me about the work done by such amazing people. 

But for some reason work of Baba Amte and his son's didn't get much recognition in India, people know about their work but they don't know like they know about the work of Mother Teresa or work of some political organizations like RSS or  work of some cult movements like ISKON or Art of living are doing. May be because Baba Amte never sided with any particular religion or political ideology/party, rather at times he stood against the state government like in the case of Narmada Bachao Andolan. So I think all this might have made him a not so attractive or useful option for any political party as they can not use his name or his work to attract any vote bank. He did not even get Bharat Ratna, actually Baba Amte doesn't need that award but I think that award needs people like him so that its dignity and honor is maintained. But I am glad that he is not in that list of Bharat Ratna awardees, even Mahatma Gandhi is not in that list so I think its fair that even they didn't consider Baba for this award.

He didn't even claim to be a superhuman or incarnation of some god or messenger of some god who landed on this earth or was sent by The God to serve his people. Many so called babas or gurus use these tactics to get money and power. He stayed away from all these gimmicks which many political and religious groups to popularize themselves, he just did his work silently with total dedication and selflessness. I really love and respect him for this, his approach means a lot for person like me. He showed me the path that you don't need any religious, political or any other affiliation or support to do any good work. I may not believe in any god, religion, I many not also subscribe to any political ideology, cult or belief system but still can help my fellow humans as I really don't need to subscribe to any of these things to feel compassion and love for my fellow citizens. I can feel their pain and help them just because I love them and respect them as humans. We all know this theory but very few dare to follow it and try to set an example for others as it is not easy thing to do but Baba Amte was one such person who proved it with example of his own work. There are many reel life superheros but for me Baba Amte is my real life superhero he did something which was considered as impossible for normal humans, thank you sir for showing us the path. Sadly he is no more but his work and legacy will live forever and keep on inspiring many people to carry of selfless service to humans in distress.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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