Mumbai, May 10 (IANS) To mark the birthday of renowned social worker and community leader Appasaheb Dharmadhikari Sunday, more than 15,000 of his followers will come out on Mumbai roads to undertake the country’s single biggest community cleanliness drive, an activist said.
The drive will be initiated from 6 a.m. from Dahisar-Nariman Point, Mulund-Colaba and Mankhurd-Dadar, representing the three boundaries of Mumbai, as the Arabian Sea is on the west.
“They will clean up more than 400 kms of Mumbai roads, and convey Appasaheb Dharmadhikari’s message that service to society is service to mankind. Similar community services shall be undertaken across Maharashtra to mark his birthday May 12,” a spokesperson said Friday.
Appasaheb Dharmadhikari is the present head of the family and of the Shree Samarth Adhyatmik Prasadik Seva Samiti, that has dedicated itself to social awakening and community service since generations.
The title “Dharmadhikari” was bestowed on the family by the erstwhile ruler of Alibag kingdom, Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre nearly three centuries ago. Today, the family has millions of followers in India, US, Europe, Australia and Arabian Gulf countries.
“Since the past eight generations, the Dharmadhikari family has continued its social-community traditions uninterrupted for the people of the coastal Konkan region and rest of the state,” the spokesperson said.
Hailing from Revdanda fishing village in Raigad district, Dattatraya Narayan alias ‘Appasaheb’ took over the reins of the community movement from his illustrious father, the late Narayan Vishnu, alias ‘Nanasaheb’ Dharmadhikari after his demise in 2008.
Appasaheb Dharmadhikari’s teachings include inculcating moral values among men and women, emancipation of women, national integration, eradicating social ills, education and training for children and adults, eco-conservation, watershed techniques, etc.