Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Feb 10 : The mortal remains of noted social activist and Magsaysay award winner, Murlidhar Devidas Amte, fondly known as Baba Amte, were laid to rest on Sunday. Amte, 94, breathed his last around 4:15 a.m. on February 9 at his "Anandvan Ashram" in Warora taluka of Chandrapur District in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and social activist Medha Patkar were also present during the funeral ceremony. Contrary to earlier media reports, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde did not attend the ceremony.
He is survived by two sons and a daughter. Baba Amte was the founder of several ashrams and communities for the service of leprosy patients and other marginalized people that were shunned by society. Baba Amte dedicated his life to various other social causes and wildlife preservation. He received Padma Shree in 1971 and Padma Vibhushan in 1986. In 1990, Baba Amte left Anandwan to live along the Narmada River and to join Medha Patkar's Narmada Bachao Andolan.
In 1999, he was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for his exemplary work for treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy patients and his concept of the "Shramik Vidyapeeth" (Workers' University) where patients and volunteers work together. Born on December 26, 1914 in Wardha district of Maharashtra, Amte participated in the freedom struggle against the British Empire.