“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
And if you want to see something that is really very beautiful then a visit to Hemalkasa, Anandvan is a must for you. Needless to say the Amte family is very well known and at some point of life you have heard the names Dr. Baba Amte and Dr. Prakash Baba Amte. It all started when Baba began working for leprosy struck patients just outside Warora, and started 11 weekly clinics there. He later started Anadwan which literally means ‘Forest of joy’. When Baba Amte visited Hemalkasa and Gadhchiroli in 1973. He found the condition of people, especially in the village of Madia Gond extremely appalling. Then the area was completely cut off from civilization. Illiteracy being a total and medical care completely unheard of, malnutrition, leprosy, malaria and tuberculosis were rife.
Dr. Prakash and his wife Mandakini volunteered and built a small hut for themselves and a big hut on the land of 50 acres given by the government. Not only did they cure patients, but also built a scientific conscience in them. Amte’s Animal Orphanage or the ‘Amte’s Animal Ark’ is a must visit here. Baba had envisioned Somnath to be a village where cured leprosy patients could live together and build a village with their own blood, sweat and toil. Present day Somnath has about 550 residents, most leprosy patients, and 1,000 acres of 1,300 acres which Baba Amte was allowed to retain, is cultivated.
One of the most interesting thing to see is the Madia culture. The Madia people are extremely peaceful, their society is based on co-operation and co-existence. Females enjoy an equal status to that of males. You would be surprised to know that the word “rape” is literally missing from the Madia culture. The Madia culture or religion is older than Hinduism, it is non-Hindu in origin, they worship mother Godess and her various powers – their language – the madia language resembles neither Aryan or Dravidian culture. The Madia language have words only for numbers upto 20!
As Dr. Amte explains:
“They are an absolutely practical people and have no need for bigger numbers”.
A few things to note:
1. Anandwan – Hemalkasa – Somnath are founded by the great humanatarian Shri Baba Amte and now looked after his family members and numerous volunteers. A special mention goes to Dr. Abhay and Rani Bang for their social service and the institution called “Search”.
2. Anandwan (based at Warora, Dist. Chandrapur, Maharashtra) is now a self contained model village.
3. Lok Biradari Prakalp (based at Hemalkasa, Dist. Gadchiroli) is involved in providing medical service and education to the local tribal community.
4. Somnath (based at dist. Chandrapur) is an agriculture based project of Maharogi Seva Samiti and has done commendable work in natural resources conservation.
It is one inspirational journey to see the exemplary work done by the Amte family.
EziiTours provides a tour to this great social place – at extremely reasonable costs. For more information – please visit our website: http://www.eziitours.in/anandwan-hemalkasa-tadoba-with-eziitours