Navi Mumbai, April 16: Renowned social reformer Dattatreya Narayan Dharmadhikari, revered as 'Appasaheb Dharmadhikari', was conferred the coveted 'Maharashtra Bhushan Award - 2022' in the presence of an estimated crowd of two million devotees, here on Sunday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the honour to Appasaheb Dharmadhikari, 77, with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries.

The award, comprising a medal, a citation and Rs 25,00,000, was handed over to Appasaheb Dharmadhikari, who was earlier conferred the Padma Shri in 2017.

Incidentally, his father and a renowned preacher-reformer, the late Dr. Narayan Vishnu Dharmadhikari, remembered as 'Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari' was also conferred the 'Maharashtra Bhushan Award-2008'. BMC Elections 2023: Amit Shah To Visit Mumbai Today To Discuss Polls Strategy With BJP Functionaries.

Shinde described Appasaheb Dharmadhikari as instrumental in social and society building activities like afforestation, blood donation and medical camps, shunning dowry system, empowering women and tribals, organising training for children and adult literacy centres, holding job fairs, cleanliness, eradicating superstitions, conducting de-addiction, national integration and preaching to the masses on traditional and religious values.

The famed 80-year-old regular gatherings, known as 'Shri Baithaks', were launched in October 1943 by the late Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari, and for the past over three decades, his son Appasaheb Dharmadhikari has taken it forward, with Shinde also one of the devoted followers.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 16, 2023 01:32 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website