Full Name: Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Born: 14 April 1891, Dr. Ambedkar Nagar
Died: 6 December 1956, Delhi
Parents: B. R. Ambedkar, Ramabai Ambedkar
Spouse: Savita Ambedkar (m. 1948–1956), Ramabai Ambedkar (m. 1906–1935)
Children’s: Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, Ramabai Anand Teltumbde, Anandraj Ambedkar, Bhimrao Yashwant Ambedkar
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Early Life
Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891, in the Mhow Nagar Military Cantonment of British India, in the Central India Province (now Madhya Pradesh). He was Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai’s 14th and last child. He was from a Marathi family that followed the Kabir Panth and lived in Ambadwe village in the Ratnagiri area of modern-day Maharashtra.
They belonged to the Hindu Mahar caste, which was formerly known as the untouchables, and as a result, they faced severe social and economic persecution. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s forefathers had long served in the British East India Company’s army, and his father, Ramji Sakpal, had served in the Indian Army’s Mhow Cantonment, rising to the rank of Subedar during his time there. He received formal Marathi and English schooling.
Because of his caste, the young Bhima faced public opposition. Before having able to attend school, Bhimrao faced numerous challenges as a result of his untouchability. Ramji Sakpal enrolled his son Bhimrao as Bhiva Ramji Ambedkar at the Government High School in Satara on November 7, 1900. ‘Bhava’ was his childhood name. Ambedkar’s surname was originally spelled Ambedkar rather than Sakpal, which was a reference to his Ambadwe village.
Ambedkar’s surname from Ambadwe village of Ambedkar was registered in the school because people in Konkan province used to preserve their surname from the name of the village. Later Krishna Keshav Ambedkar, a Devrukhe Brahmin teacher who had a special affection for him, removed ‘Ambedvekar’ from his name and added his simple ‘Ambedkar’ surname. Since then till date he is known as Ambedkar.
Ramji moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) with the Sakpal family. In April 1906, when Bhimrao was about 15 years old, he was married off to Ramabai, a nine-year-old girl. Then he was studying in the fifth English class. In those days child marriage was prevalent in India.
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Primary Education
Ambedkar took admission in the first class of English on 7 November 1900 at the Government High School (now Pratapsingh High School) located at Rajwada Chowk in Satara Nagar. From this day his educational career started, hence 7th of November is celebrated as Student’s Day in Maharashtra. At that time he was called ‘Bhiva’. At that time in the school ‘Bhiva Ramji Ambedkar’, his name was mentioned in the attendance register at serial number – 1914.
Bhimrao’s success was celebrated as a public ceremony among the untouchables when he passed the English fourth grade examination, as it was unusual for the Untouchables, and the book ‘Buddha Ki Buddha‘ was written by his family friend and author Dada Keluskar. Ramji moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) with the Sakpal family.
In April 1906, when Bhimrao was about 15 years old, he was married off to Ramabai, a nine-year-old girl. Then he was studying in the fifth English class. In those days child marriage was prevalent in India. Biography‘ was presented to him. After reading this, he got to know Gautam Buddha and Buddhism for the first time and was impressed by his teachings.
Bhimrao Ambedkar Secondary Education
In 1897, Ambedkar’s family moved to Mumbai where he attended the Government High School located on Elphinstone Road.
Undergraduate Studies at Bombay University
He passed his matriculation examination in 1907 and enrolled in Elphinstone College, which was affiliated with the University of Bombay, the following year. He was the first person in his village to receive this degree of schooling.
He graduated from the University of Bombay with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in economics and political science in 1912 and began working for the Baroda state administration. When he had to travel to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on February 2, 1913, his wife had barely settled into their new family and started working.
Bhimrao Ambedkar Second Marriage
Ramabai, Ambedkar’s first wife, died in 1935 after a long illness. He suffered from sleep deprivation, and neuropathic pain in his legs, and was on insulin and homeopathic remedies after finishing the writing of the Indian Constitution in the late 1940s.
He sought treatment in Bombay (Mumbai), where he met Dr. Sharda Kabir, whom he married on April 15, 1948, at his house in New Delhi. Doctors advised that they be cared for by a life partner who is a competent cook and has medical understanding. After marrying, Dr. Sharda Kabir took the name Savita Ambedkar and looked after her for the remainder of her life. Savita Ambedkar, also known as ‘My’ or ‘Mysaheb,’ died on May 29, 2003, in Mehrauli, New Delhi, at the age of 93.
Death of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar
Ambedkar had been suffering from diabetes since 1948. He was quite ill from June to October 1954, and his eyesight deteriorated at that time. Ambedkar’s health deteriorated as a result of political difficulties, and the continual work he did in 1955 shattered him.
Ambedkar’s Mahaparinirvana occurred on December 6, 1956, as he was sleeping in Delhi, three days after finishing his final manuscript Lord Buddha and His Dhamma. He was 64 years and 7 months old at the time. A special airplane from Delhi flew his lifeless remains to his house in Rajgriha, Mumbai. A Buddhist-style funeral was performed on December 7 at Dadar Chowpatty beach in Mumbai, attended by thousands of his fans, activists, and admirers.
Bharat Ananda Kausalyayan initiated more than 10,00,000 of his supporters to Buddhism by witnessing his body during his funeral, as Ambedkar prepared a Buddhist conversion program in Mumbai on December 16, 1956.
After Ambedkar’s death, his family was left to be cared for by his second wife, Savita Ambedkar, who was the first person in the Dalit Buddhist movement to become a Buddhist (together with Ambedkar). Dr. Sharda Kabir was his wife’s name before they married. Yashwant Ambedkar’s grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, heads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and has served in both chambers of the Indian Parliament. Dr. Savita Ambedkar died as a Buddhist on May 29, 2003, at the age of 94.
A memorial has been erected at 26 Alipore Road at Ambedkar’s residence in Delhi. Ambedkar Jayanti is a public holiday. In 1990, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
Every year more than 20 lakh people pay their homage to him at Chaityabhoomi (Mumbai), Deekshabhoomi (Nagpur), and Bhima Janmabhoomi (Mhow) on his birth anniversary (April 14), Mahaparinirvana i.e. death anniversary (December 6) and Dhammachakra Enforcement Day (October 14). To gather. Thousands of bookstores have been set up here, and books are sold. Ambedkar’s message to his followers was – “Educate, organize, struggle”.