Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar was born on 14th April 1891. This day is also celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti to honor countless contributions of Dr. Ambedkar into making the present day Independent India. He was also awarded Bharat Ratna award posthumously in 1990. He was an Indian barrister, an economic expert, a political leader and a social reformer. He started the Dalit Buddhist movement and fought against the social discrimination of untouchablity. He is considered as the Chief architect of the Constitution of India and played a major role in forming the Reserve Bank Of India.
Dr. Ambedkar got married to a nine-year-old Ramabai at the age of 15 before his matriculation. He was quite a celebrated child in his community as he was the first one to pass the English fourth standard examination and later obtained a degree from Bombay University. He was awarded a Baroda State Scholarship that helped him to acquire post graduate education at Columbia University in New York. He wrote a thesis “The problem of the rupee: its origin and its solution” which helped him complete D. Sc. in Economics awarded by University of London.
Though Dr. Ambedkar had accomplished so much in life, he still had to endure untouchability. To support his family financially, he worked at many jobs and even started a business, but it all failed because his clients learned that he was untouchable. This led him to practice law in Bombay High Court and started to promote education for untouchables to uplift them. He protested the evil practice of untouchability by starting movements to open up public drinking water resources and the right to enter Hindu temples.
Ambedkar wrote a book titled “Annihilation of Caste” where he strongly criticised the caste system prevalent in India. He wrote other books namely “Thoughts of Pakistan” which analysed why Pakistan should be created and “who were the Shudras” which explained the formation of Untouchables. He also tried his luck in politics and became a member of Rajya Sabha but failed to enter the Lok Sabha. After India’ Independence, Ambedkar became the first Law minister and later was appointed as the chairman to write India’s New Constitution. After that he suffered from severe diabetes and went to bombay for treatment. There he met Dr. Sharda Kabir who later became his second wife. She changed her name to Savita Ambedkar and nursed Dr. Ambedkar for the rest of his life. Ambedkar after completing his final manuscript The Buddha and his Dhamma, took his last breath in his home on December 6, 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar was born in a military cantonment in Mhow which is now known as Ambedkar Nagar in Madhya Pradesh. His father’s name is Ramji Maloji Sakpal who was a subedar in the British Indian Army. Growing up, Dr. Ambedkar and his dalit friends suffered from discrimination based on caste. After his father’s retirement Dr. Ambedkar’s family moved to satara where his mother died. Among his family only Ambedkar was the one to pass the exams and went to high school. In the school records, his father wrote his name as “Ambadawekar” instead of his original surname Sakpal. This is because his family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambadawe in Maharashtra. But later Ambedkar’s teacher, Krishna Keshav Ambedkar changed the young man’s name to his own surname Ambedkar.