Murlidhar Devidas Amte, known by the name ‘Baba Amte’ was a social activist and an Indian social worker. He is remembered for his work in empowerment and rehabilitation of poor people and patients suffering the disease leprosy. He had a good financial background. His parents used to call him ‘Baba’ and that became his nickname. He was having his own gun and even hunted deer and boar with it when he was just 14 years old. He had his own a Singer Sports car with panther skin covered cushions in young age. He was asked not play with children of low-class servants. But he never bothered and appreciated this thought. He just rebelled against it.
He was professionally trained in law and started his career with a legal practice at Wardha. He started taking active participation in the freedom fight. He defended Indian leader who was arrested by British authorities in the 1942 Quit India movement by acting as a defense lawyer. He lived at Mahatma Gandhi‘s Sevagram ashram. He started following Ghandhism. He strongly believed in a self-sufficient village industry’s concept of Gandhi. He used to wear Khadi cloths and fought against mismanagement, corruption, ill practices following Gandhi’s principles. He practiced Gandhism at Anandwan.
There was a time when leprosy was believed to be highly contagious and society ued to disown those suffering from it. He fought to prove these beliefs wrong. He even asked to inject bacilli from the person suffering from Leprosy into his body to prove that it is not contagious. He started rehabilitation and treatment of the disabled people, leprosy patients etc and founded 3 ashrams for this purpose. He began a hospital under a tree in Anandvan in 1949. He worked for Madia Gond tribe from Gadchiroli District and started Lok Biradari Prakalp for them. He joined the ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ with Medha Patkar and started living along the river. The movement was for fighting against the damage to the environment and unjust relocation of the locals for the of the Sardar Sarovar dam. His notable work also includes the Knit India movement. He dedicated his entire life to social work and rest of his family member supported him in his journey. He breathed last at the age of 93 in 2008.