Anuradha Bhosale

Anuradha Bhosale

Anuradha Bhosale is an Indian social activist who is known for being the founder and director of the non-government organization based in Kolhapur, Ma

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Anuradha Bhosale is an Indian social activist who is known for being the founder and director of the non-government organization based in Kolhapur, Maharashtra called Avani, which is working for women & children rights, especially child labourers to provide them with education, health facilities, shelter, and better means of livelihood.She was born into a very poor family as her father (a pre-primary teacher) earned a salary of Rs. 150 a month and her mother (a domestic worker) earned Rs. 10 a month only. Being the eleventh out of twelve children of her parents, she was forced into child labour at the age of six. She used to serve four households, where she did manual work of cleaning the utensils, clothes, and houses. Since she studied along with earning, she sometimes ended up working in an empty stomach. However, some of her employers showed her sympathy and let her study and also gave her food.After studying till class 5 at St. Teresas Girls Primary School, Anuradha shifted to a girls hostel at Harigaon, Ahmednagar, run by missionaries because her family had to move back to their hometown in Bhokar, Ahmednagar due to their financial condition. She completed her schooling from Shrirampur.During her school days, her school fee was Rs. 25, and because her family couldnt pay for her education, she received help from her teachers who waived her fee. She said, Whatever I could give was accepted by the institution..She also received help from a priest (with whom she had worked earlier) of a church in regards to her schooling. The priest also paid her college fees for two months until her college offered to support her financially. Some of her college teachers also gave her financial help for her study tours.Anuradha almost faced rejection by the selector of the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, when they learned that she did not know English. The selectors thought that the language barrier might become a problem in learning as she knew only Marathi and Hindi. According to Anuradha, I convinced them that I will learn the language and it will not cause a problem. It was a Friday. The selectors asked for some time to consider the case and by Monday, I was selected..During her college days, she began working in projects involving migrant children (who crushed rocks used in paving roads in Kolhapur) and helped families of such children to know the principles of micro-finance. She also assisted in setting up self-help groups for women and worked with organizations such as Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, Rankala Bachao, and Mahila Sangharsh.According to her, her family belonged to the caste that came lowest in the hierarchy. When her grandfather (who was born a Hindu) was fed up of the discrimination (denial of entry to temples, segregation from the main village, denial of education, faced slavery, no right to a job), he converted to Catholicism. According to Anuradha, if any person at that time converted, they could be free from the hierarchy of the Indian society, and taboos would not be imposed on them. Talking about it, Anuradha said, The Christian missionaries treated these formerly outcaste people with sympathy and human warmth. I grew up as a Catholic and had no inferiority complex. The Catholic mission in my area had established schools and hostels where I could be educated without difficulty and I did not face discrimination. Catholicism with its emphasis on love and compassion for your fellow beings and the doctrine of serving humanity being equivalent to serving God must have laid the foundation of a service oriented attitude in me..In 1992, she started her career by working with the Water Supply Department of Jalgaon, Maharashtra.In 1993, she worked for the Social Work Department of the Bajaj Auto Company in Pune, as a project holder. While working there, she managed the sanitation and environmental projects across 124 villages in western Maharastra, as a part of the companys corporate social responsibility initiatives.


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