Remembering Thakkar Bappa
Thakkar Bappa (29 November 1869 – 20 January 1951), famous for his service work. Remembering his service-spirit, Dr. Rajendra Prasad had said – “Whenever the selfless servants are remembered, the idol of Thakkar Bappa will stand in front of my eyes.” After the independence of the country, Thakkar Bappa was also a member of Parliament for some time. He worked immensely for the upliftment of tribal people in the state of Gujrat.
Life, education, and Work
Thakkar Bappa was born 29 November 1869 in Bhavnagar, Saurashtra, Gujarat state, India, into a middle-class family. He got his first education for benevolence and service to humanity from his father. L.C.E. (Licenciate in Civil Engineering) from Poona, 1890.
After working as an engineer in Porbander, he went out of India to lay the first railway track in Uganda (East Africa). During that time, he was also chief engineer in Sangli State and then worked for Bombay municipality as an engineer.
Here he saw for the first time the conditions of those scavengers who had to get rid of the garbage of the whole city. When he saw the filthy colonies where the Sweepers lived, he made a firm decision to spend the rest of his life improving their lives. He later served the Uganda (Country) railways in East Africa. He resigned in 1914 and became a social worker. He joined the Servants of India Society and advocated for untouchables and tribals.
The late Mr Gokhale did the right thing at the right moment when in 1914 he prevailed upon the members of the Servants of India Society not to be too punctilious or literalist about the age limit and thus enabled Thakkar Bappa to join that memorable organisation at the age of 45.
Awards and Legacy
Thakkar Bappa has remarkable prints on the human mind because of his sincere dedication and commitment to the welfare of the deprived. There are numerous awards and legacy are in his name. Thakkar Bappa Colony is a residential and commercial area of suburb Chembur, Mumbai. The Government of India issued a stamp in his honour in 1969. The Madhya Pradesh state government has instituted an award named in his honour for dedicated services to poor, victimised and totally backward tribal community.
Maharashtra government has set the scheme to improve adivasi villages and colonies named Thakkar Bappa adivasi vasti sudharana in the year 2007
He died on 20 January 1951.