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Google doodle celebrates life of social activist Baba Amte

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

giant on Wednesday paid homage to Indian Murlidhar Devidas Amte, affectionately known as Baba Amte, with a colourful doodle on

The slide show traces the life and legacy of Amte, who dedicated his life to serving those in need, especially those afflicted with leprosy.

Exposed on to a life of privilege, Amte, born in in 1914, would hunt wild animals, play sports, and drive luxurious cars. Aware of the class inequalities prevalent in the country at the time, Amte, as a child, would consciously play with the 'lower caste' servants' children.

He went on to study law and was running his own successful firm by his 20s. He left his practice in about a decade's time to work for the upliftment of the underprivileged.

According to Google, the incident that went on to define remainder of Amte's life was an encounter with a man suffering from leprosy.

"The sight of the man's decaying body filled him with overwhelming fear," read the blog post.

Confronting that fear, identified the state of "mental leprosy" that allowed people to feel apathetic in the face of this dreaded affliction.

"The most frightening disease is not losing one's limbs, but losing one's strength to feel kindness and compassion," had said.

In his attempt to challenge the social stigma faced by leprosy patients and make people believe that the disease was not "highly contagious", he injected himself with bacilli, a disease causing bacteria.

A Gandhian for most part of his life, was married to (later called Sadhanatai Amte). Like her husband, she too dedicated her life to social work.

Their two sons, Vikas Amte and Prakash Amte, and daughters-in-law, Mandakini and Bharati, are doctors.

He founded three ashrams for treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy patients, disabled people and people from marginalised sections of the society in

In 1949 he established - meaning "Forest of Bliss" -- a self-sufficient village and rehabilitation center for leprosy patients.

Always a strong believer in national unity, Amte launched the first Knit March in 1985. At 72, he walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, a distance of more than 3,000 miles with the purpose to inspire unity in

His second march was three years later, where he travelled over 1800 miles from to

He received several awards during his lifetime including the Padma Shri, the Prize in the Field of Human Rights, and the Gandhi Peace Prize. PTI

Today's slideshow Doodle follows and honors the life and legacy of Amte dedicated his life to serving those in need, especially those afflicted with leprosy.

On this day Exposed early on to a life of privilege, He Despite his upbringing however, throughout his childhood.

As he set off

Dedicating his life to the cause,

In a time of national strife, Amte was accompanied by 100 men and 16 women, all under the age of 35.

In recognition of Amte's tireless work, he went on to win the His legacy lives on through his two sons who share their father's sense of compassion.

On what would have been his 104th birthday, we salute Babe Amte for a lifetime of service to humanity.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 26 2018. 13:25 IST