Manibhai Desai

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Manibhai Bhimbhai Desai (April 27, 1920 – 1993) was an Indian social activist, associate of Mahatma Gandhi, and a pioneer of rural development. At the urging of Mahatma Gandhi, when he stayed in the village of Uruli Kanchan near the city of Pune in 1946, the young Manibhai decided to devote his life to uplifting of Uruli.[1] His first major activity there was to open a Nature cure Ashram which continues to this day and is well known throughout India. This was followed by opening of Schools in Uruli.[2] In 1967, he founded the Bharatiya Agro-Industries Foundation (BAIF). BAIF has been a pioneer in introducing the Indo-European hybrid cattle breed to India.[3][4]

In 1982, He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, sometimes called Asia's Nobel Prize. The Indian government also honoured him with the Padmashree award.


  1. ^ Biography at Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
  2. ^ Biography at Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
  3. ^ Howard, Connie (2000). In Gandhi's Footsteps: The Manibhai Desai & BAIF Story. New Age International Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 81-224-1221-1. 
  4. ^ Biography at Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation

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