बाबा आमटे यांचे निधन – Baba Amte passes away

Baba Amte, a leading social worker who devoted his life to the care and rehabilitation of leprosy patients, passed away today.baba amte

Murlidhar Devidas Amte, popularly known as ‘Baba Amte’ (‘baba’ is a honorific and his last name is pronounced as Am’tay) was born on December 1914 in Vidharbha, Maharashtra, India in a wealthy family. Educated with a law degree, he setup a successful practice in Warora, and was leading a very prosperous life. One one rainy day, he saw a leper on the street getting drenched in rain and left helpless. Baba Amte thought to himself – ‘What would have happened if I was in his position?‘ This little incident was enough to cause a paradigm shift in his perception of society. The well educated rich professional simply quit his practice and decided to dedicate his life to the cause of social justice.

Leprosy was/is probably the most damned disease in India. Plenty of myths and orthodox beliefs existed around leprosy patients. As a result, they were (and still are to some extent) subjected to severe social boycott and condemnation. Baba Amte devoted his life for the cause of the leprosy affected, even allowing his body to be used for medical experiments. With 14 Rupees, two cows and a makeshift building, Baba Amte and his wife established a community project at Anandwan (आनंद वन abode of happiness) near the woods of Nagpur, Maharashtra, central India.

Today Anandvan is recognised all over the world and has led the crusade for dispelling prejudice against leprosy in India. It has a sprawling campus of 180 hectors and runs a budget of millions of Rupees. Thousands of patients live in this colony.

Anandvan

This is one of his compositions that touches my heart. (I’d be thrilled if someone can translate, I can’t)
Update: Ash has translated the first paragraph, and Devendra has translated the entire poem. Checkout the comments section, thanks guys :)

A picture that speaks more than a thousand words.
Baba Amte

“Joy is more infectious than leprosy”
- Baba Amte

माणूस माझे नाव, माणूस माझे नाव…
दहा दिशांच्या रिंगणात या पुढे माझी धाव…
बिंदु मात्र मी क्षुद्र खरोखर,
परी जिंकले सातहि सागर,
उंच गाठला गौरीशंकर
अग्नीयान मम घेत चालले आकाशाचा ठाव…
मीच इथे ओसाडावरती,
नांगर धरुनी दुबळ्या हाती,
कणकण ही जागवली माती
दुर्भिक्ष्याच्या छाताडावर हसत घातला घाव…
ही शेते अन् ही सुखसदने,
घुमते यातून माझे गाणे,
रोज आळवित नवे तराणे
मी दैन्याच्या विरुद्ध करतो क्षण क्षण नवा उठाव…
सुखेच माझी मला बोचती,
साहसास मम सीमा नसती,
नवीन क्षितिजे सदा खुणवती
दूर दाट निबिडात मांडला पुन्हा नवा मी डाव…
[संग्रह: ज्वाला आणि फुले]


39 thoughts on “बाबा आमटे यांचे निधन – Baba Amte passes away

  1. प्रियांक: अतिशय सुंदर विषयाबद्दल लिहिलंय तू. I can try to translate first paragraph….

    In this battlefield over 10 directions, here I come,
    I might be an insignificant point,
    but I have held victory over the seven seas,
    and conquered tall peaks
    On a rocket, here I leap towards the sky..

    I hope this matches roughly to what he say.

  2. That touching picture of a disabled hand holding a small bunch of flowers does indeed speak a thousand words.

    You have paid a fitting tribute to one of India’s most respected and loved social leaders.

  3. Priyank, was pleasantly surprised to see your blog excerpted in the bloggers’ section in the TOI Ahmmedabad edn this morning, I think they even picked the picture featured here.Have u seen it?

  4. The picture truly speaks out everything.
    Baba Amte was a saint of modern india!
    Who else would give away life of comfort for doing social good?
    Keep posting!
    I have yet to read the israel posts, though :(

  5. Here is my version of translation. It sounds a little dry and too literal. :(

    My name is human! My name is human!

    My playfield extends beyond ten directions

    I may be an insignificant dot,

    but I have conquered the seven seas

    I have scaled the mighty mountains.

    My fire-driven vehicle is taking me into the heart of the sky

    I alone holding the plough with my weak hands;

    have created life on this deserted barren land

    I while laughing have striked the heart/thaav of scarcity

    My song echoes through these farms and happy homes

    singing new tarana every day

    I lead new uprisings every day against grief/poverty

    My happiness pricks me

    My bravery has no bounds

    New horizons signal me

    I have again created a new world in far and dense/nibid land

    • Hi Priyank,

      Really This is best try
      Please translate whole poem
      Are you read Dr. Prakash Amte new Book “Prakashwata”

      Regards
      reshma

      • नमस्कार रेशमा, तुमच्या टिप्पणीबद्दल धन्यवाद व माझ्या ब्लॉगवर तुमचं स्वागत. मी कॅनडात शिकतोय अाणि अानंदवन अाश्रमाला कधी भेट दिली नाही. कवितेचं भाषांतर केल्यावर त्यातला रस निघुन जातो, तरी वर माझ्या मित्राने भाषांतर केलं अाहे… :)

        • hi Priyank,
          Can you send some other poem in marathi font?
          I want one baba amte poem…..

          ” Shunkhala Pai Asu de, NI Gateeche Git gai,
          Ashru Dhalavayas ata, Aswana vel Nahi”
          If you Have that Poem then ,please Send me This pome in Marathi font.

          Regards

          Reshma
          Vision India (NGO)
          Mumbai

  6. Deven:
    Thanks buddy, I know your Marathi language skills are way better than mine. But the translation does sound a little funny :D

    This composition is about the achievements of human beings.

  7. Pingback: Nov 13, A few good posts « Tech and Trek

  8. Hiii, I feel proud that still small group is trying to come-up and change the the world. Baba Amte not comes to an end , but he led beginning of revolutionary era.
    Thanx again.

  9. Hi Priyank. I remembered you mentioned about this post on Baba Amte. I found it through the tag cloud by searching “society”. Nice post. I am not sure we have an authentic translation of the poem. My Marathi is passable only for local rickshawallas and vegetable vendors. Not good enough for this task by let me see if i can find someone better suited…

    • Mayur, I don’t know what you mean, but your comment clearly shows your immaturity and lack of respect for someone who has done something for others. What have you done in your life?

  10. i am very glad
    kya bat hai baba ne maharogyansathi keleya kamala dhardar lekhnit pravartit krnyach kam kelya baddal ABHINANDAN Ya mahitiche vachan krun maharoga bddal nidrist dolyana jag aalya shivay rahanaar nahi
    Digambar Bagul (Nasik)

  11. Nice obituary of Baba Amte :)
    Interesting how Leprosy is the only major disease that is 100% curable yet it has such a stigma attached to it. On the other hand, people don’t hesitate to say “I have diabetes”, though it is not curable.

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