Harijan Sevak Sangh

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Harijan Sevak Sangh is an non-profit organisation founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932 to eradicate untouchability in India, working for Harijan or Dalit people and upliftment of Scheduled castes of India.[1] It is headquartered at Kingsway Camp in Delhi, with branches in 26 states across India.[2]

History[edit]

After the Second Round Table Conference, British government agreed to gave Communal Award to the depressed classes on the request of B. R. Ambedkar. Gandhi opposed the government's decision which he considered it would divide the Hindu society and subsequently went onto the indefinite fast in Yerwada Jail. He ended his fast after signed Poona Pact with Ambedkar on 24 September 1932. On 30 September, Gandhi founded All India Anti Untouchability League, to remove untouchability in the society, which later renamed as Harijan Sevak Sangh (Hindi: हरिजन सेवक संघ, "Servants of Untouchables Society").[3] At the time industrialist Ghanshyam Das Birla was its founding president with Amritlal Takkar as its Secretary.[4]

Headquarters[edit]

The Sangh is headquartered at Kingsway Camp in Delhi. It was Valmiki Bhawan within the campus, which functioned as Gandhiji's one-room ashram, Kasturba Gandhi and their children stayed at the nearby Kasturba Kutir, between April 1946 and June 1947, before he moved to Birla House. Today, the 20-acre campus includes the Gandhi ashram, Harijan Basti, Lala Hans Raj Gupta Industrial Training Institute and also has a residential school for boys and girls.[5][6]

Activities[edit]

The Sangh helped the depressed classes to access public places such as temples, schools, roads and water resources, also conducted inter dining and inter caste marriages.[7] It constructed and maintains several schools and hostels across the country.[8]

In 1939, Harijan Sevak Sangh of Tamil Nadu headed by A. Vaidyanatha Iyer entered the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, with members of depressed class including P. Kakkan despite opposition from the upper caste Hindus. The Sangh led by Iyer organised several temple entry movements in other Parts of Tamil Nadu and in Travancore.[9][10] Through their movements, more than 100 temples were opened to all sections of the society.[11]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harijan Sevak Sangh to publicise activities". The Hindu. 10 February 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Organisation". Harijan Sevak Sangh. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Emancipation of Dalits and Freedom Struggle. Gyan Publishing House. 1 January 2008. p. 285. ISBN 978-81-8205-481-3. 
  4. ^ Ratna G. Revankar (1 January 1971). The Indian Constitution: A Case Study of Backward Classes. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-8386-7670-7. 
  5. ^ "Share Gandhi's space @Rs 800 pm". CNN-IBN. 30 September 2006. 
  6. ^ "Tirath spends time with Dalits on Gandhi Jayanti". The Indian. 2 October 2009. 
  7. ^ Raj Kumar (1 January 2003). Essays on Dalits. Discovery Publishing House. p. 67. ISBN 978-81-7141-708-7. 
  8. ^ Bindeshwar Pathak (1 September 1999). Road to Freedom: A Sociological Study on the Abolition of Scavenging in India. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. p. 70. ISBN 978-81-208-1258-1. 
  9. ^ "Man who led Harijans into the temple". The Hindu. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Reliving the historic temple entry". The Hindu. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Rajendra Kumar Sharma (1997). Rural Sociology. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 172. ISBN 978-81-7156-671-6. 

External links[edit]