Social reformist and spiritual guru Appasaheb Dharmadhikari is going to be honored with the Maharashtra Bhushan Award at Kharghar on Sunday by union home minister Amit Shah. This is the first time that two persons from the same family have been honored with this award. Here's a look at who Appasaheb Dharmadhikari is, how he got selected for this award, and why does he have millions of followers.
Who is Appasaheb Dharmadhikari?
Appasaheb Dharmadhikari is a renowned social reformist. He inherited a reputation from his late father Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari. The Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan runs several social welfare activities such as child rites class, health camp, blood donation camp, de-addiction, area cleaning, tree plantation, environment conservation, refilling of wells, distribution of educational materials are carried out. His work continues uninterruptedly. Taking note of his work, Appasaheb was also honored with the Padma Shri.
How did the work begin?
Late Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari established Shri Samarth Adhyatmik Prasadic Seva Samiti in 1943 for this purpose. The first Shri Samarth meeting started at Goregaon, Mumbai. After this, Shri Samarth's meetings spread abroad. In simple terms, followers or Shri members were enlightened in these meetings. The work of creating a society without addiction started by awakening the depraved minds through spiritualism. Today, lakhs of followers in indiaand abroad have been connected through these meetings. Through these meetings, he convinced the society of the importance of religion, work and salvation. After Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari, Appasaheb Dharmadhikari and his son Sachindada Dharmadhikari have continued this legacy of social enlightenment through the teaching of saints.
How did the scope of work increase?
He taught morals, fearlessness and humility while teaching the saints in the meeting of Shri Samarth. Dr. Appasaheb Dharmadhikari ,to increase the scope of social work, established Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Foundation, Revdanda. Social activities started being implemented through the organisation. As these activities started to be implemented through public participation, their scope increased.
Initiative in tree planting
Keeping in view the changes in climate and its effects on temperature, the work of planting trees and cultivating them was undertaken on behalf of Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan. A total of 36,61,611 trees have been planted on behalf of the foundation from 2015 to 2021. Cultivation of these trees is also being done by Shri members. Appasaheb taught his followers that cleanliness of the surroundings should be given importance along with internal cleanliness. From this teaching, Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan started the cleanliness campaign. Shri Members undertook the task of cleaning the roads, drains, silted lakes, sea shores. This activity started from the village gates and gradually reached the intersections of the cities. So far 140 cleanliness drives have been implemented on behalf of the foundation. 20,23, 369 members have participated in these drives. 1,15,23 tonnes of waste was collected. Apart from this, the activities of refilling wells, cleaning of water sources, production of fertilizer from Nirmalya collection have been implemented. Adding spirituality to social activities has drawn millions of followers to their work. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is also one of his followers.
Awards to Dharmadhikari so far
Taking note of this social work of Appasaheb, D. Y. Patil University awarded an honorary doctorate degree to Dharmadhikari. Former Governor Vidyasagar Rao appointed him as the state's cleanliness ambassador. In 2017, the central government conferred the civil honor of Padma Shri. The European International Institute honored Appasaheb with the Living Legend Award. Considering his career so far, the state government has selected him for the Maharashtra Bhushan Award.