Murlidhar Devidas Amte, popularly known as Baba Amte was born on December 26, 1914. He was a great humanitarian, environmentalist, social activist and a philosopher poet beyond ages. Although a lawyer by profession Baba was moved when he saw the great economic and social divide between the rich and poor people. He initially started an ashram for the untouchables (social outcasts) where everyone would work for a living irrespective of their social status, but life had something else in mind and the project failed. One day he saw a leprosy patient Kashiram lying on the side of the road, his wounds were stinking and full of maggots. Baba was terrified at the sight and fled on throwing a quilt on the disfigured Kashiram. The incident was a turning point in his life. The pain and suffering he saw led him to dedicate his life to rehabilitate and empower the people who suffered from leprosy. In 1951, Baba set up Anandwan, which today is a self-sufficient community, followed by an agricultural project at Somnath in 1967. In 1973, he set up Lok Biradari Prakalp - A People's Brotherhood Project. A Gandhian by nature, Baba played an active role in the freedom struggle. He dedicated his entire life to the service of destitute people. Baba initiated an unusual march and named it “Bharat Jodo” to establish peace and unity among all our fellow countrymen. He had a dream of a complete sovereign nation and urged people to participate. The response he received was overwhelming, and Baba was greeted with extreme love and admiration in every state he entered. With minds being ignited and hearts being filled with compassion and love for the nation and humanity.
It all started as an adventurous family trip. When Baba’s two sons returned home after answering their final M.B.B.S. papers for a vacation he took them on a trip to Bhamragad. The road was extremely difficult and took almost 3 days to cover a mere distance of 250 km. Baba had visited the area in youth for a hunting game, but this time he had something else in mind. He was extremely moved to see the condition of the tribals. Bhamragad region was inhabited by Madia-Gond tribals, a primitive tribe who barely covered their bodies and wore colorful beads as ornaments. They were terrified of civilized men in clothes and fled into the forests on seeing such men. the region was characterized by acute illiteracy, ignorance and extreme exploitation. Baba felt a strong urge himself to start reformative activities. Baba being a man of strong determination, vowed to start a new project here. Seeing his dedication and courage at the age of 60 his younger doctor son Prakash promised to join him. Prakash’s sister Renuka, and four educated inspired young men from different parts of Maharashtra joined him. Little did they know that it would mean the beginning of a new chapter in the history of selfless and courageous social service.