Maharishi Karve

Here we listed out some interesting facts about Emancipator of Women Maharishi Karve, with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievemnet, etc.,

Born: 18 April 1858,
Birth Place: Murud, Ratnagiri, India
Died: 9 November 1962, Pune, India
Education: Elphinstone College
Awards: Bharat Ratna
Organization founded: SNDT Women’s University

  • Maharishi Dhondo Keshav Karve, also known as Annasaheb, was born in Sheravali near Murud, a small village in the Konkan region of Maharashtra on April 18, 1858.
  • Originally, the Karves were one of the rich families in the village who lent money to the Kings of the Princely states of Maharashtra, but by the time Dhondo was born the family had lost all its ancestral riches and were living in total penury. Dhondo’s father, Keshav Pant, worked as a clerk at Koregaon on a yearly salary of Rs. 25/- only.
  • Once, a friend of Dhondo’s informed Dhondo that the Maharaja of Baroda was distributing ‘Dakshina’ (alms) of Rs. 10/- to students. Dhondo and his brother Bhiku went to their mother to seek her permission to receive the alms.  Their mother advised them not to depend on charity but to work hard  to earn a living.  She reminded them that God had gifted them with hands and intelligence and they should use them for a good cause.  Dhondo never forgot these words.
  • As per the customs prevailing at that time, Dhondo was married at the age of 12 to Radhabai. This did not stop him for pursuing his studies, in fact he even taught Radhabai to read and write.
  • Somman Sir taught Sanskrit and he read many scriptures like ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharata’, ‘Narvijaya’ and ‘Gurucharitra’.  By then he also learnt by heart many religious verse in Sanskrit and devotional songs.
  • Dhondo started taub king tutiojns and also studied hard for his matriculation exam which he passed in 1881 and joined Wilson College. He later got admission at Elphinstone College in Bombay 2nd  A., and won many prizes.  He graduated in 1884 with mathematics as his main subject.  After graduation, he started teaching at Elphinstone College and shifted his family to Bombay.
  • While serving in school, he used to save Rs.5/- per month and raised a fund called “The Maratha 5%”. He used this fund to help many poor and needy students in their higher studies.
  • Anna wished to work for the natives of Murud and started a “Murud Fund”. People donated generously by paying one pai (1/192 of a rupee) from their earnings of one rupee.  Finally, a huge amount was collected which was used for water project, constructing roads and building a school in Murud.
  • He also founded the “Snehwardhak Mandal” and laid the foundation of social service in Murud. In 1891, Karve was appointed as Professor of Mathematics at Ferguson College. Pune.
  • During those days the condition of widows was very distressing. They were treated as social outcastes and were denied good food and good clothes.  They slept on the floor and their food consisted of leftovers.  To add to their woes, they had to get their heads shaved.  It was a curse to be a widow.
  • Karve had heard and read about the miserable condition of the widows. One day he saw his friend’s sister going through the agony of having her head shaved.  The sight shook him to the core.  He then decided to work for improving the condition of widows.
  • After the death of Radhabai, his relatives were pestering him to get married again. In 1893 he shocked everybody when he decided to marry his friend’s widowed sister, Godavari, and renamed her as ‘Anandi’.  It raised a social storm and he was boycotted.  Karve was criticized severely and social pressures were so powerful that he was not allowed to see his mother and brother at Murud.
  • Anna decided to educate women and improve their status. He formed a society ‘Vidhwa  Vivah Samiti’ and toured all over Maharashtra advocating widow remarriage.  He founded “Anath Balikashram”,  a home for destitute girls and women and went from door to door to collect funds.
  • Gradually people began to appreciate Karve’s work and also realized the need to educate women. People like Smt, Pavatibai Athavale, Kashibai Deodhar and Venutai Naamjoshi came forward to share the burden of running the Ashram.  Mahatma Gandhi, Maharishi Arvind, Shrinivas  Shastri and Maharaja of Baroda Sayaji Rao, visited the Ashram and were greatly impressed.
  • Anna Karve retired from Ferguson College in 1914 and devoted all his time to work in the ashram and the school. In 1910, he founded another organization called  “Nishkam Karm Math”.  Following the teaching of selfless service given in the ‘Bhagvad Gita’, the volunteers readily worked in the ashram without any remuneration.
  • The first women’s University in India was founded. Bhandarkar was the first Vice-Chancellor, and Anna was the first Principal of the college.  Sir Thackersey was highly impressed with Anna’s gigantic effort and donated a large amount to raise the college building.  Since then the University is known as “Shrim;ati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey University”.
  • In 1929, Anna went to Geneva to attend the gathering of World Teachers Organizations. He then visited England, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.  His lectures were arranged in many places abroad.
  • In 1942, Anna received the highest degree of “Doctorate of Literature” from Benaras Hindu University. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1955. Pune and Bombay Universities honoured him in appreiciation of his social work.
  • On his 100th birthday in 1958, he was honoured with the “Bharat Ratna” award. He was the first Maharashtrian to receive the award.  He expired on  14th  November 1962 at the age of 104.  He will always be remembered for his pioneering work for women’s education.

Emancipator of Women Maharishi Karve

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One Response to “Maharishi Karve”

  1. Donnavap says:

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