A Google doodle has been dedicated to Murlidhar Devidas Amte, popularly known as Baba Amte on his 104th birthday. Born in Wardha district of Maharashtra, Amte spent his entire life for the welfare of others. The Google doodle slideshows portray Amte's life journey working for the underprivileged, providing medical treatment and empowering them to lead better lives. The social activist dedicated his life especially for those affected with leprosy.
Amte was born into a wealthy family in Maharashtra and studied law. While his father Devidas Amte worked for the British government, he got involved in the Indian freedom struggle driving colonial rule out of the country. While earlier he lead his life according to the riches of his family, it changed after he met a man suffering from leprosy. A great fear fell upon him after seeing the decaying body of a man. He covered a distance of 4,828 km to bring in the sense of national unity among people. Fe del Mundo’s 107th Birth Anniversary Celebrated With A Google Doodle, Know More About The Filipino Paediatrician.
Google blog post describes Amte's life saying, "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 also strived in driving away the stigma attached to leprosy patients who would be often disowned by their own people. He tried to change the notion that leprosy was highly contagious and even went on to inject himself with bacilli from a leper. A Gandhian himself, he launched the first Knit India movement in 1985 for public awareness about ecological balance and wildlife preservation.
It further adds, "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." For his service towards the society, in 1971, Amte was awarded the Padma Shri Award and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1988, and the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize.