New Delhi, Apr 15: Indian leaders paid rich tribute to Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his 117th birth anniversary on Monday. Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh led the nation in paying floral tribute to the Father of the Indian Constitution at a statue located on the lawns of Parliament House.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, leader of the opposition L K Advani were among the others who also offered floral tribute at the base of statue. Several functions are being organised in different parts of the country to mark the occasion.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, scholar, Bahujan political leader and a Buddhist revivalist.
Ambedkar spent his life fighting untouchability and the Indian caste system.
He is also credited for having sparked off the Dalit Buddhist movement and was honoured with the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to Indian society.
Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first "untouchables" to obtain a college education in India.
He went on to pursue higher studies in the United States and England, where he earned law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science.
Returning home as a famous scholar, Ambedkar practiced law for a few years before he began publishing journals that advocated political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables.