Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Smriti Abhivaadan – Samyak Samata Melava : 25th January
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, lovingly known as Babasaheb, was the crusader of Dalit rights. Known for his efficient work as the Chairperson of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb was instrumental in giving a respectable identity to the so called 'untouchables' not only in Maharashtra but the entire country . During the late 1930s and 40s, Babasaheb vehemently toured rural Maharashtra to instil this sense of dignity among his people. On the 25th of January, 1939 Babasaheb had come to Akole and to greet him a huge sabha was held at the Akole Bazaar place (market place). This date is of extreme significance in the history of Akole and Ahmednagar. Thus every year 25th of January is celebrated as the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Smriti Abhivaadan – Samyak Samata Melava. Followers and admirers from across castes and communities gather on this day and commemorate the work and philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar. This programme is held at the same venue where the historic public rally took place in 1939. Social activists, community leaders share their views on this occasion.
Kusumtai Chaudhari Smruti Puraskar – 17th January
With a vision to live on with the unbeatable spirit of Late. Hon. Kusumati Chaudhari, the immense faith she had in women power and her zeal to work for women's empowerment the Kusumtai Chaudhari Mahila Kalyani conducts several programs.
17th of January is the Birth Anniversary of Late. Kusumtai. This day is thus celebrated in a different way to keep her memories alive!!
Every year Mahila Kalyani felicitates an individual women activist and a social work organization, who are actively involved in developmental activities for women. These awards have not only given us a chance to honour the work of some extremely committed individuals and organisations but also been a source of inspiration for other women. Since the past 2 years, the organization has also initiated a 3rd category of award - especially for a young women activist who has dedicated her life to such kind of work. These awards are in the form of a certificate of honour, a souvenir and cash award money.
Dhamma Yatra : 28th February
While working as a lieutenant of Dr. Babasaheb Amebdkar, Dadasaheb and his colleagues realised the need to initiate programmes that would help the Dalit masses, especially those converted to Buddhism, to come together and celebrate their new identity as a Buddhist; a platform that could serve a medium of dialogues between the dalit masses on issues that confront the development of the community, a conglomeration that would help the dalits reinstate their identity. Therefore, Dadasaheb and his team started the "Dhamma-Yatra" in the 1950s, approximately 60 years ago. This is an annual event that witnesses the participation of thousands of followers of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Dhamma Yatra is organised at the 'Jetvan' vicinity of the Shendi village in Akole, more famously known as Bhandardara. On the occasion of this Dhamma Yatra two important awards – Samaj Bhushan and Samata Bhushan – to social activists from various fields to honour their dedication and contribution to the cause of social equality. Throughout the day a series of events take place:
• Flag Hoisting – Dhamma Dhvaj Vandan
• Dhamma Desana by Buddhist monks.
• Karyakarta Melava – where several activists from the field share their experiences, issues and plan of action.
• Anna-daan – Free food for all the people.
• A procession of different performing arts – lezhim, zhanz, etc by school children and local artists.
• Formal Award Function – In this concluding ceremony the 2 awards – Samaj Bhushan and Samata Bhushan are awarded to the dignitaries. This is concluded by speeches by the awardees and other dignitaries present.
Thousands of Buddhists and non-Buddhists gather for this Dhamma Yatra and envelop the entire vicinity with a distinct spirit... a sense of pride, a celebration of being the admirers of Dr. Ambedkar. A noteworthy fact about this event is that the funds utilised for this event are all gathered in the form of contributions/donations from common people; which is later systematically accounted for by the committee formed every year. This truly is an event of the people, by the people and for the people.
Another prominent feature of the Dhamma Yatra is the "Jeevak Medical Centre" – a free one day medical centre. This centre proves a boon to all those economically deprived people who seek free treatment and medication for short term ailments. If necessary, the doctors also refer the patients for further treatment.
Apart from this the Dhamma Yatra also features a series of stalls by people across Maharashtra – to sell the literature related to social movement, Dr. Ambedkar and Buddhism, artefacts, paintings, music cds, etc.
When instated, the Dhamma Yatra used to be organised on the eve of Buddha Poornima. However, after the death of Hon. Dadasaheb Rupwate, the Dhamma Yatra is now celebrated on the 28th of February every year to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Hon. Dadasaheb Rupwate.
Over the last 60 odd years, the Dhamma Yatra is being successfully organised and with time is witnessing the participation of increasing number of people from across Maharashtra. It is one of its kinds in Maharashtra.
Dadasaheb Rupwate Smruti Abhivaadan Sabha: 23rd of July.
In 1999 Hon. Dadasaheb Rupwate untimely death on 23rd of July left his followers, friends and family in a shock. It was impossible for any of them to come to terms with
the colossal loss confronting them. A only be-fitting tribute to Dadasaheb could be to cherish and put into practice the ideologies that Dadasaheb truly believed in; to carry forward the work he had started and contribute to the process of development and movement for social equality. For this purpose friends and family came together to form the Dadasaheb Rupwate Foundation. This Foundation now works to carry forward the legacy of Hon. Dadasaheb.
Every year, the 23rd of July, the Death Anniversary of Dadasaheb brings back innumerable memories and thoughts; but instead of just keeping these limited to his family the Foundation makes an effort to share it with his extended family... the masses. Therefore on every 23rd of July the Foundation organizes a function – the Dadasaheb Rupwate Smruti Abhivaadan Sabha. This function is not just any other event to praise Dadasaheb's work, cherish his memories… but an opportunity to bring together hundreds of his followers, friends and well wishers together and elicit discussion, and enlighten their thoughts on contemporary socio-economic-political issues that are of importance to the common man. This is the form of a panel discussion where experienced and expert resource people working on the concerned issue are invited. The Foundation has been very careful while selecting the issues to be taken up for discussion on this occasion. Some of the issues discussed in the previous years' programmes and the respective speakers have been mentioned below:
Women Entrepreneurs' Exhibition – cum – Sale:
We believe that the true key to any woman's progress Kusumtai Chaudhari Mahila Kalyani org
Women Writers Colloquium:
Literature was very close to Hon. Kusumtai Chaudhari's heart. A poetess herself, Kusumtai beautifully expressed the true essence of a woman's life.. her struggle.. her strife to achieve her goals and her journey through poems. The simplistic way in which Kusumtai led her life reflect in literary works. She was a scholastic admirer of women writers, especially the well known Marathi poetess – Bahinabai Chaudhari. Kusumtai Chaudhari was on the path of successfully completing her Ph.D. on the writings of Bahinabai Chaudhari that she met an untimely death on the 26th June 1994. Thereafter, Kusumtai Chaudhari Mahila Kalyani has always tried innovative ways to promote women writers. With an aim to provide women writers, established and new a platform to assemble, contribute and discuss a specific form of Marathi literature, Mahila Kalyani initiated the Women Writers Colloquium.
It is often seen that as in all other domains of public life, literature too is dominated by male writers. Eventually, at literary conventions women writers are not given their due share. Therefore, Mahila Kalyani derived this interesting concept of a Women Writers' Colloquium to give these gifted women their own, rightful space! With this we also aimed at highlighting talented women writers who otherwise remain outside this purview. Every colloquium is organized with a specific theme i.e. a specific form of literature. The rationale behind this being that particular form of literature should be discussed and celebrated comprehensively!
The 1st programme was organized in September 2005 at Jalgaon – with the central theme being "Poetry" – title Kusumanjali Kavoystav.
The 2nd programme was organized in December 2007 at Aurangabad – with the central theme being "Story" – titled Kusumanjali Stree-Kathee.
The 3rd programme was organized in December 2009 at Kolhapur – with the central theme being "Biography" – titled Kusumanjai Nijakhun.
Hundreds of women writers participate in this programme which takes place every 2 years. It has been widely appreciated in literary circles and well received literature admirers across Maharashtra.