KARMAYOGI BABASAHEB DESHMUKH –
“Sa Vidya ya Vimuktaye“ (Education Leads to emancipation)
Believed and manifested, the scripture from the eternal values of Indian heritage, till he breathes his last in August, 2004. A simple, dhoti clad, six feet tall, yet stooped out of humility is “The Karma Yogi”, Babasaheb Keshav Narayanrao Deshmukh. Born on the 27th of March, 1926, with a silver spoon in the mouth, Babasaheb was the most cherished child in the Regal Deshmukh’ family of Sagroli in the Marathawada region of Maharashtra. The village” Sagroli” in Tehsil Biloli, in Dist Nanded was an integral part of the Nizam’s state of Hyderabad.
As a child and youth, Babasaheb had been well exposed to the plight of the village folk, the down trodden and the under privileged. He was sent to Hyderabad for his education, but something that was due to happen through him at Sagroli, didn’t allow him stay there for long time. On the other hand, his daughter who passed her 4th Std. was deprived of further education since there were no schools in the vicinity of 100 K.M. from Sagroli. All the girls of her age had to stay home. This disturbed Babasaheb. It proved good for the village. The thoughts of social reformation already took shape in his mind, came into being with the establishment of Sanskrit Samvardhan Mandal in 1959, an organization to promote education at grass root level.
As a land lord, he had a big heart too to spare a hundred and thirty acres of his agricultural estate for the mission he started. As a person of deed and might, Babasaheb never turned back come what may! The Sanskriti Samvardhan Mandal was carefully nurtured in the hands of devoted and faithful volunteers of Babasaheb’ s team and this day stands among one of the most renowned development organizations in the region.
Babasaheb Deshmukh’ vision was not limited to education sphere alone. He took every opportunity to serve the deprived communities. Gradually SSM propagated its service activities into the fields of health, Women and child welfare, Agriculture, environment, watershed development, conservation of National resources and what not. His vision was far ahead of the time. There was a great receptive potentiality in his ways. He tried every thing that he believed, would help the development of rural communities.
Though he always acknowledged that he was inspired by the Trio, Mahatma Phule, Maharshi Karve and Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, the pioneers of education (Particularly for the deprived) in Maharashtra, It is the fact that the quartette gets completed only when his name is added to the list.
He’s a kind hearted human being who added height to the eternal values in the society. S.O.S. children’s village, the “Anand Balgram” the home for the orphan children provides shelter and education to more than 500 god’s children through its associated units. Just not the orphan children, but hundreds of orphan animals, also were blessed enough to seek protection under his care.
A typical day in his life would never probably give a hint to any enthusiast that such a simple ONE man had created this vast world of social service in the rural sector.
Babasaheb’ s services were duly recognized by the nation and he was bestowed with many honors and rewards at national level platforms. He had six presidential awards conferred upon him, though he humbly avows the felicitation to the credit of all his volunteers.
Through the six decades of his tireless journey, Babasaheb left behind him a great inspiration to carry forward and ever widen the scope for human service.