Mahad Satyagraha or Chavdar Tale Satyagraha was led by Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on March 20, 1927, to allow untouchables to use water in a public tank in Mahad, Maharashtra, India. The day is also observed as Social Empowerment day all across India.
In 1927, the father of the Indian Constitution decided to launch a satyagraha to assert the rights of Dalits to use water in public places.
Mahad, a town in Konkan, was selected for the event by Babasaheb. He had the support of prominent activists like A.V.Chitre, G.N.Sahasrabudhe, and Surendranath Tipnis.
Surendranath Tipnis, the president of the Mahad municipality declared its public spaces open to untouchables and invited Ambedkar to hold a meeting at Mahad in 1927.
After the meeting, they proceeded to the ‘Chavdar tank'. Babasaheb drank water from the tank and innumerable untouchables followed the great leader.
Dr Ambedkar also wanted to empower Dalit women through the movement. He asked them to say no to all old customs which are degrading in nature and asked them to wear saris like other women.
Before that time, Dalit women were not allowed to wear saris like high caste women. Immediately after the leader's speech, the Dalit women decided to drape their saris like the higher caste women.
Dr Ambedkar decided to hold the second conference in Mahad on 26-27 December 1927 after a riot broke out because of a few baseless rumours. But a few unhappy individuals filed a case against him stating that the tank is private property.
Babasaheb's efforts played a pivotal role in improving the state of Dalits who were not allowed to exercise even the most human right.