Ambedkar Jayanti is observed annually on April 14 to celebrate B R Ambedkar’s birthday. On his 128th birth anniversary, we bring you some facts about him that you can share with your kids to help them understand the great reformer’s contributions:
1. Born into a poor Mahar caste family on April 14, 1891, the reformer campaigned against social discrimination towards Dalits. He also advocated women’s rights.
2. In 1907, he passed his matriculation examination and in the following year, joined Elphinstone College, reportedly becoming the first from his caste to do so.
3. He was independent India’s first law and justice minister, and also the founding father of the Republic of India.
4. He was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitution drafting committee on August 29, 1947, and was appointed by the Constituent Assembly to write India’s new Constitution. He came to be recognised as the “Father of the Constitution of India”.
5. Ambedkar was also called Babasaheb, meaning “respected father” in Marathi and Hindi.
6. Ambedkar’s original name was ‘Sakpal’ but his father registered his name in school as ‘Ambadawekar’, after his native village Ambadawe. It was his teacher Krishna Keshav Ambedkar, who changed his surname to ‘Ambedkar’.
7. On October 14, 1956, Ambedkar, along with a number of Dalits, converted to Buddhism at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur.
8. Ambedkar’s birthday was publicly celebrated for the first time on April 14, 1928, in Pune, by social activist and Ambedkarite Janardan Sadashiv Ranpise.
9. “Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence,” he had said.
10. In 1990, he was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.