Towards the middle of the last century a man was moved to the core by the unbearable miseries, agony and social ostracism being suffered by victims of leprosy. It was sufficient to help him realize what his life’s mission ought to be. He wanted to be faithful to his conscience. He relinquished his luxurious life style, his lucrative profession and voluntarily embraced poverty to identify himself with the deprived and the depressed. The rest of his life was a saga of struggle, a struggle against the infirmities of the mind of man, a struggle against the cruelties of the world. The rest of his life was a poem in action; a beautiful poem of self-less service, of creative compassion, of unflinching faith, of determination, love and peace. That was the great social worker BABA AMTE.
I am a humble friend of Baba Amte and his Anandwan. I have fortunately had the opportunity to experience in person the greatness of this really wonderful person, from a fairly close range, although for a short time. The 21 poems included in this collection issued forth from my heart during these periods of my closeness with him. They speak something about his ideas and ideals, about his work and his wisdom. Hence I desire to present it before the general public, as a humble service of mine. If it serves to inspire anybody, if it serves to spread his message, at least to some extent, I think, humanity would be to that extent, happier and more peaceful.
Lives were exploding with gaiety.
It was Diwali everywhere.
For children it is the feast of fireworks.
A spirited boy
As every child he too was full
Of pranks and fun and play;
With vibrant eyes and vibrant hands
He made his childhood gay.
His hair flowed in locks.
Beard grew unchecked.
He resisted matrimony
For his mind was wandering
He built his monumental work
On the rocks of his pithy philosophy:
‘Work Builds; Charity Destroys.’
Whenever the tempest of time blows across