Indian activist Baba Amte's 104th birth anniversary celebrated in a Google doodle

Baba Amte was a social worker and activist who dedicated his life to people suffering from leprosy.

In a slideshow doodle, Google is celebrating what would have been the 104th birthday of Indian social worker and activist Murlidhar Devidas Amte, or as he is famously known, Baba Amte. The doodle is made of four different pictures that essentially throw light on the causes Amte dedicated his life to.

We have all studied stories about Baba Amte as children in school, how he dedicated his life to serving those in need, especially those afflicted with leprosy. In 1971, Amte won the Padma Shri Award for his tireless work, then he went on to get the 1988 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, and the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize.

Amte was born to a very wealthy Maharashtrian family, with all the luxuries and fancy cars. In his early 20s, he went to study law and started his own firm soon after. However, even when he was young, the social inequalities weren't concealed from him.

Baba Amte's 104th birthday celebrated in a Google doodle.

Baba Amte's 104th birthday celebrated in a Google doodle.

So, about a decade later, Amte left his practice and the life of luxury, and he set off on a mission to help the underprivileged. That's when he met Indu Ghuleshastri, whose kindness to an elderly servant touched Amte, and the two married soon after.

Google writes in its blog, "Amte’s life was changed forever when he encountered a man suffering from leprosy. The sight of the man’s decaying body filled him with overwhelming fear. Confronting that fear, Amte identified the state of “mental leprosy” that allowed people to feel apathetic in the face of this dreaded affliction. He said that the most frightening disease is not losing one’s limbs, but losing one’s strength to feel kindness and compassion.

Dedicating his life to the cause, Amte defied the social stigmas faced by leprosy patients by injecting himself with bacilli to prove that the disease was not highly contagious. in 1949 he established Anandwan—meaning “Forest of Bliss”—a self-sufficient village and rehabilitation center for leprosy patients."

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