Sambhaji Bhide: The inspirational 85 year old who has changed the face of rural Maharashtra
Known to his supporters and admirers as ‘Guruji’, 85-year-old Bhide is the face of rural Maharashtra who has dedicated his life to the public welfare of the poor in the state.The inspirational public leader is a die-hard follower of Chhatrapati Shivaji and commands a massive following, with the youth looking up to him in large numbers.We take an in-depth view of the inspirational man’s life:
- SambhajiBhide is lauded for running a self-sustained organization Shiv Pratishthan in Kolhapur. Using the organization he has helped to change the life of lakhs of people by working tirelessly for their welfare.
- He is known for his simplicity which defines him. Despite receiving numerous laurels and working with some of the highest figures and organizations he has never bought a house of his own, making him synonym with the rural class of India.
- He has never asked his followers for any donations in spite of being followed by millions and uses only a cycle to travel. He wears simple white khaki clothing and walks barefoot for miles on end irrespective of the weather.
- He has also received several offers from big political outfits but has always denied the offers.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s admiration for Bhide is well known and he was also seen sharing the stage with him at a public rally in Maharashtra. “Bhide Guruji did not invite me here. I came here on his orders,” Modi had said during the public rally in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.
- Bhide has a large following of political stalwarts with even Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also holding him in great reverence. In fact, any leader who visits Maharashtra always stops in Kolhapur to take the great man’s advice and blessings.
- MscIn Atomic Science with a gold medal from the prestigious Pune University.
- Professor of Physics in Fergusson College, Part of 67 doctoral and postdoctoral types of research
- Has over 100 national and international awards.
- Despite being 85 years old he is known for his tireless energy and can work for days with minimum rest.
- Advised NASA and the Pentagon on several issues and is the only Indian scientist to be a part of their advisory board.
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