Anna Hazare Biography

Anna Hazare, a respected social activist in India, has dedicated his life to fighting corruption and bringing attention to social issues. Through hunger strikes and non-violent protests, Hazare has inspired the youth of India to voice their opinions and demand action from political parties. Despite facing difficult times in his childhood and surviving life-threatening incidents in the army, Hazare believes that he was spared for a specific purpose and has committed himself to serving his village and country. Starting with his own village of Ralegan Siddhi, he transformed it into a model village and continued his social work by organizing hunger strikes to address pressing social issues.

Quick Facts

  • Name: Kisan Baburao Hazare
  • Age: 86 Years
  • Gender: Male
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Occupation: Social Activist
  • Height: 5’4″ (163 cm)
  • Awards: Padma Bhushan (1992), Padma Shri (1990)
  • Family:
    • Father: Baburao Hazare
    • Mother: Laxmi Bais
    • Siblings: Maruti Hazare

Childhood & Early Life

Anna Hazare was born as Kisan Baburao Hazare in a village near Ahmednagar. He was the eldest son of Baburao Hazare and Laxmi Bai and had six siblings. His father was an unskilled laborer and the family struggled financially. Due to financial strains, Hazare’s education was discontinued in seventh standard.

Career

Hazare joined the Indian Army in 1960 and worked as an army truck driver. During the Indo-Pakistan War in 1965, he survived an enemy attack which made him contemplate the meaning of life. He started reading the works of great minds like Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and Vinoba Bhave, which inspired him to do something purposeful in his life. After 15 years of service, he was honorably discharged from the army in 1975.

Rebuilding the Village

Upon returning to his native village of Ralegan Siddhi, Hazare was dismayed to find it plagued by issues like poverty, water problems, alcoholism, and hopelessness. He gathered like-minded youths and organized a Youth Association called ‘Tarun Mandal’ to work towards rebuilding the village. They successfully closed down over thirty liquor breweries and banned the sale of other intoxicating substances. They also started a pre-school and a high school to increase literacy in the area. Hazare started a Grain bank to solve the food shortage problem in the village.

Fighting Corruption

Hazare was distressed by the corruption in India and started a public movement called Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan (BVJA) in 1991 to fight against corruption. He went on an indefinite hunger strike in 2003 to campaign for the Right to Information Act, which was eventually implemented in 2005. Hazare initiated a Satyagraha movement in 2011 to press the Indian government to pass the anti-corruption Lokpal Bill. After several hunger strikes, the Lokpal Act was finally passed in 2013.

Major Works

Hazare played a major role in transforming Ralegan Siddhi into a “Model Village” based on sustainable development. He also played a key role in persuading the Government of India to pass the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, by going on indefinite fasts and protesting.

Awards & Achievements

Hazare was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992 for his contributions towards the betterment of society. He lives a very austere life in a single room attached to a temple and is fondly called “Anna” by the citizens of India.

Personal Life & Legacy

Anna Hazare is a bachelor and continues to be a prominent social activist in India. He was portrayed by actor Arun Nalawade in the Marathi film ‘Mala Anna Vhaychay’.

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