Dr Anil Awachat, a prominent Marathi author and social activist based in Pune, passed away on Thursday morning. He was the founder-director of Muktangan rehabilitation centre in Pune and was associated with several other social causes. He was 77.
Chairman of the Muktangan trust Dr Anand Nadkarni said that Dr Awachat had suffered a fall on Jan 15 and fractured his right femur (hip bone). “He did not recover after the surgery and as per his wishes wanted minimum life support. Subsequently, he was discharged from the hospital on Monday and today died peacefully at 9.15 am,” Dr Nadkarni said.
Dr Awachat is survived by daughters Mukta Puntambekar and Yashoda and their families. His wife Dr Anita died 24 years ago due to cancer. “We will continue the work that they have been doing at Muktangan,” Dr Nadkarni said.
The centre was set up in 1986 to treat addiction and included a combination of medicine, therapies and activities. Dr Anil Awachat, who got his medical degree from B J Medical College, decided to serve in the community and along with his late wife Dr Anita set up the centre. Dr Nadkarni recalled his long association with Dr Anil and Anita Awachat.
“We used to fondly refer to Anita as Sunanda. She passed away 24 years ago. Dr Anil was a multi-faceted individual and we used to call him Dada. He had a large circle of well-wishers and friends and has contributed immensely to the cultural life of the state,” Dr Nadkarni said.
Dr Nandkarni also said that the annual award Sangharsh Sanman Puraskar given in memory of late Dr Anita Awachat will be held this year as well on February 6.
The funeral will take place as per the Covid restrictions protocol and the body will be kept at his home in Patrakar Nagar for people to pay their last respects at 2 pm.
In his condolence message, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said, “A multifaceted personality, Dr Awachat lived the life to the fullest. He contributed to the society as a medical expert, journalist, author, painter, sculptor, and social activist and his departure is a big loss to the social, literary, and cultural spehre of the society.”
“With ‘Muktangan’, he undertook deadiction movement to thousands of affected individuals and saved families. I stand with the Muktangan familily in this hour of grief ,” he said.
🗞️ Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️