Google Doodle on Wednesday paid tribute to social worker and activist Murlidhar Devidas Amte, affectionately known as Baba Amte (Father Amte) on his 104th birthday anniversary. The slideshow honours the life and legacy of Amte, who dedicated his life to serving those in need, especially those afflicted with leprosy.
Amte was born into a wealthy family in Maharashtra in 1914. According to the Google blog post, “Exposed early on to a life of privilege, he would hunt wild animals, play sports, and drive luxurious cars. He went on to study law and was running his own successful firm by his 20s. Despite his upbringing, however, Amte was aware of India’s class inequalities throughout his childhood.” 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.
“A strong believer in national unity, Amte launched the first Knit India March in 1985. At age 72, he walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, a distance of more than 3,000 miles with the simple purpose to inspire unity in India,” the post added. He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 1971, the 1988 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, and the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize.