The credit of honoring this legend goes to the following donors. FFEI is only a 
·  Mr Kaki Madhava Rao, IAS (Rtd), Hyderabad 
·  Mr Naresh Penumaka, IRS, Hyderbad  
·  Mr Milind Thamke, US    
·  Mr Sandeep Chavan, Hyderabad   
·  Mr Maharaj Kaul, US   
·  Ms Mina Kumar, USA  
·  Mr Rayadas Manthena, US 
Please read.

Ambedkar Awards : Honoring a legend

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat 
Rarely you come across such a personality whose life could inspire many yet 
remain invisible. Just because some body writes in the native language does not 
mean that things did not move in India. Baby Tai Kamble, whose 82 birthday was 
celebrated by a host of people together with Ambedkar Awards Ceremony conferred 
on her by Friends for Education International USA, an initiative of a committed 
Ambedkrite friend Benjamin Kaila. His commitment has given new hopes to 
aspiring scholars, computer scientists and engineers and would be doctors from 
various Dalit communities in India. Since last two years, FFEI under the 
stewardship of Benjamin Kaila has been honoring various new initiatives taken 
by the unknown Dalits. Those who have done tremendous work yet remain 
unrecognized and invisible. In his first contribution an award of Rs 10,000 was 
conferred on the Dalit women from Bundelkhand region of Uttar-Pradesh who 
started a weekly newspaper named as Khabar
 Laharia. He asked me whether   I know Khabar Laharia people and I told him my 
opinion and thus I went to deliver this award to these brave women who have 
initiated a great change in Bundelkhand. And I want to inform here that it was 
perfectly right decision.
Now, with Baby Tai Kamble, who I personally think inspire every one who 
believes in freedom and women's emancipation. I had the opportunity to meet 
Baby Tai earlier in Delhi several years back when she came to India Social 
Forum and addressed a gathering of Dalit women. That time when I heard her,  I 
realized her passion, her struggle and her values. It was amazing, how in such 
a ripe age, she is still lively, and ready to go to any part of her state and 
Hence, when brother Benjamin and his team decided that Baby Tai Kamble should 
be honored for her autobiography ' The Prison we broke', it was like a long 
cherished dream of mine that Dalit women who are the change makers rarely got 
the  recognition. There are many who got awards and rewards and I do not want 
to comment upon the merits of such people but definitely by honoring Baby 
Kamble, Ambedkar Awards has proved itself to be genuine torch bearer of Baba 
Saheb Ambedakr's movement. Baby Tai Kamble is the link between us and the 
struggle of Dr Ambedkar. Her experience with Ambedkar's movement is a lesson 
for us.
When I came to Phalton to meet Baby Tai and give her the message of Ambedkar 
Awards and hand over the cheque to her, I had in mind the glorious struggle of 
Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Jyoti Ba Phule and other social reformers. . It was a 
great honor to be with her, listen to her and see her charming personality. I 
saw the number of people came to attend the programme. Despite a working day, 
nearly 500 people turned up. I saw big hoarding of honor being bestowed upon 
her. There were intellectuals, activists, the women, who look Baby Tai as their 
On her birthday, Baby Tai started a legal Aid cell to help the women victim of 
domestic violence and other issues related to women. Those who work in the 
social movement how difficult is to work among communities. When I saw women in 
large number in this gathering and later to hear Baby Tai though she did not 
speak much, I can assure you, Ambedkar Awards has infact brought itself to 
glory with honoring Baby Tai.
I spent some moments with Baby Tai and I would like to spend some days at her 
place to know her and learn from her movement some time later. I would like to 
inform you that her book which is wonderfully crafted and shows how the women 
participated in Dr Ambedkar's movement despite hurdles created by their family 
persons. Dalit women's struggle is double as she has to convince the people in 
her family to go out as well as those outside the caste. So her struggle is 
much more difficult. Baby Tai is perhaps the first women among the Dalit 
fraternity whose autobiography has come out and is translated into French, 
Spanish, English, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu languages. I have seen all those 
translations. Currently it is also being translated into Kannada. I am sure all 
those who believe in Ambedkarite vision of a liberated society would read her 
book and understand her struggle. She is a true follower of Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
Maharastra and Tamilnadu always inspired me. May be because of the fact that I 
found voices of change in these two states. Dr Ambedkar and Periyar remained my 
icon. I loved each and every word they spoke and wrote. Hence in selecting Baby 
Tai Kamble,  I want to thank brother Benjamin Kaila. He has honored himself by 
honoring Baby Tai Kamble. It is an honor for me to represent FFEI here and 
honor Baby Tai.
The Rajas may come and go. The powerful are respected in their own country but 
those who change a system and those who give society a vision are respected 
world over. Baby Tai kamble is a veteran. She is a source of inspiration for 
hundreds of youngsters like me who work to change the system and are part of 
people's movement. I salute her. I salute her spirit. I salute her vision. We 
need to honor such people and pay our greatful respect to them.
I saw Baby Tai's middle school which she started for orphan children who were 
mostly described as nomads and criminal tribes. I saw a young boy who showed me 
various paintings that he painted. It was amazing. The children were learning. 
They were getting meals in their schools. I could not see Savitri Bai Phule but 
I have seen Baby Tai and I can say with full sincerity that she is an 
inspiration and that hundreds of youngsters take inspiration and blessing from 
her. I wish her a long life so that she can inspire people like us. We do not 
have many people who follow Baba Saheb's mission. She is a true embodiment of 
Ambedkar's principal of humanism and liberation. She is truly an Ambedkarite 
and humanist who believe in the emancipation of women and Dalits without Gods.

All the major newspaper carried out the award ceremony. But leave that apart, 
it is not important whether n newspapers or TV channel carried news item or 
not. What is more important whether the life inspire us or not. And I can say 
with full conviction that with the number of people who turned up and spoke, 
Baby Tai remain an inspiring figure. I hope to pen down my experience with her 
and on her book but at the later stage but at the moment, I want to communicate 
you all that brother Benjamin Kaila's and his friends decision to honor Baby 
Tai Kamble has really helped the cause of honor Baba Saheb and his mission and 
I am sure this will not only inspire people to read Baby Tai and her work but 
also about the work Friends for Education is doing for the Dalit students in 
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
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