Mumbai, Feb 8 (IANS): Renowned social worker and reformer Dattatreya Narayan Dharmadhikar, alias Appasaheb Dharmadhikari, has been named for the 'Maharashtra Bhushan' 2023 award, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced here on Wednesday.
The award comprising a medal, citation and Rs 25,00,000/ shall be conferred on Appasaheb Dharmadhikari, 77 - who was given the Padma Shri in 2017 - at a function later.
Shinde, along with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, called on Appasaheb Dharmadhikari at his home in Revdanda, Raigad and warmly felicitated him for the honour this afternoon.
Incidentally, his father and the renowned preacher-reformer, the late Dr. Narayan Vishnu Dharmadhikari, revered as Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari was also conferred the 'Maharashtra Bhushan' 2008 award.
Shinde described Appasaheb Dharmadhikari as instrumental in social and society building activities like afforestation, blood donation and medical camps, shunning dowry system, empowering women and tribals, organising training for children and adult literacy centres, holding job fairs, cleanliness, eradicating superstitions, conducting de-addiction, national integration and preaching to the masses on traditional and religious values.
The famed regular gatherings, known as 'Shri Baithaks' were launched by late Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari in October 1943, and since the past over three decades, his son Appasaheb Dharmadhikari has taken it forward.
In December, 2013, the Dr Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratisthan conducted the world's largest medical camp with over 152,000 participants and 1,571 doctors, which created a Guinness World Record.
Besides India, the Pratisthan has also organised different types of camps in the US, Australia, Singapore, Qatar, and other countries where their followers are living.