INDIA. Mumbai: Social worker Appasaheb Dharmadhikari, who heads the “Dr Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratisthan,” will be conferred with the state’s highest civilian award, the “Maharashtra Bhushan,” by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a function organised at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai on Sunday.
The award comprises a medal, a citation, and Rs. 25 lakhs. The award will be given away in the presence of Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and a host of state ministers. The programme will be held at the Corporate Park Ground in Kharghar, spread over 206 acres, from 10.30 am onwards.
The Pratishthan was formed by Appasaheb’s father, the late Narayan Vishnu Dharmadhikari, known as Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari, who himself conferred the Maharashtra Bhushan 2008 award. Nanasaheb launched the popular meeting “Shri Baithaks” in October 1943, which his son has been carrying forward for the past few decades.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Appasaheb (76) has been instrumental in conducting various tree plantations, blood donation camps, free medical camps, job fairs, cleanliness drives, superstition eradication, de-addiction centres, etc., not just in Maharashtra and India but also abroad.
The Pratishthan, located at Revdanda in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, entered the Guinness Book of World Records in December 2013 by conducting the world’s biggest medical camp, in which 1,571 doctors were deployed and over 1,52,000 people participated. In 2014, Appasaheb was conferred a doctorate by Dr D Y Patil University, Nerul, in Navi Mumbai. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour, in 2017.
Around 20 lakh people from Maharashtra and other states are expected to witness the Maharashtra Bhushan 2022 award being presented to the much-revered preacher, social worker, and reformer. The Maharashtra government is going all out to make it a “historic event” like never before or ever after with chief minister Eknath Shinde supervising the grand preparations.