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B. R. Ambedkar Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

B. R. Ambedkar

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Bio/Wiki
Full NameBhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Nickname(s)Babasaheb, Bheem
Profession(s)Jurist, Economist, Social Reformer, Politician
Famous ForBeing the Father of Indian Constitution
Physical Stats & More
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
Politics
Political PartyIndependent Labour Party
Political Journey• His political career started in 1936. On 15 August 1936, he founded his political party 'Independent Labour Party.'
• The party participated in the 1937 Central Legislative Assembly elections and won 14 seats.
• Later, he transformed his Independent Labour Party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation. But, the party couldn't achieve desired results in the 1946 elections held for India's Constituent Assembly.
• He also participated in the Lok Sabha elections for two times but lost.
Personal Life
Date of Birth14 April 1891
BirthplaceMhow, Central Provinces, British India (now in Madhya Pradesh, India)
Date of Death6 December 1956
Place of DeathDelhi, India
Age (at the time of death)65 Years
Death CauseDied in his sleep after suffering from Diabetes
Zodiac sign/Sun signAries
SignatureB. R. Ambedkar's Signature
Nationality Indian
HometownMhow, Madhya Pradesh, India
School(s)• A School in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh
• Elphinstone High School, Bombay (now, Mumbai)
College/University• Elphinstone College, Mumbai
• Columbia University, New York City
• London School of Economics
• University of Bonn, Germany
• Gray's Inn, London for the Bar Course
Educational Qualification(s)• Economics and Political Science Degree from Bombay University
• Master’s Degree in Economics from Columbia University
• D.Sc. in Economics from the London University
• Ph.D. in Economics in 1927
Religion• Hinduism
• Buddhism (in his last years)
CasteDalit Mahar
HobbiesReading, Writing, Cooking, Travelling, Listening to Songs
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian
Awards, Honours, AchievementsBharat Ratna in 1990
Famous Quotes• The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends.
• I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.
• I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.
• Life should be great rather than long.
• Be Educated, Be Organised and Be Agitated.
• If you believe in living a respectable life, you believe in self-help which is the best help.
• Religion is for man and not man for religion.
Institutes/Places Named After HimAirport:
• Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport

Awards and Prizes:
By the Indian Government
• Dr. Ambedkar International Award
• Dr. Ambedkar National Award

By the Delhi Government
• Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Ratan Award

By Indian Dalit Sahitya Academy
• Dr. Ambedkar International Award
• Dr. Ambedkar National Award

By Chetana Association and Dr. Ambedkar Federation
• Dr. Ambedkar Samajik Nyay Award
• Dr. Ambedkar Arts and Literature Award

Others
• Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Award
• Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Award (by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar sports foundation)
• Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Noble Award (by International Human Rights Conference)
• Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award
• Dr. Ambedkar International Award (by Jeevan Welfare Society, Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Family
Wife/SpouseFirst Wife: Ramabai Ambedkar (m. 1906-1935) (until her dealth)
B. R. Ambedkar with his first wife Ramabai Ambedkar
Second Wife: Savita Ambedkar (m. 1948–1956)
B. R. Ambedkar with his second wife Savita
ChildrenSon(s)- Rajratna Ambedkar (Died), Yashwant Ambedkar (from Ramabai Ambedkar)
B. R. Ambedkar's son Bhaiyasaheb Ambedkar
Daughter- Indu (Died)
ParentsFather- Ramji Maloji Sakpal (Army Officer)
Mother- Bhimabai Sakpal
B. R. Ambedkar's Parents
SiblingsBrother(s)- Balaram, Anandrao
Sister(s)- Manjula, Tulasi, Gangabai, Ramabai

Note: He had total 13 siblings, out of which, only three brothers and 2 sisters survived.
Favourite Things
Favourite Food(s)Plain Rice, Arhar Dal, Masoor Dal, Chicken, Fish
Favourite Book(s)Life of Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Favourite Person(s)Gautama Buddha, Harishchandra (Indian King), Kabir Das (Indian Poet)
Favourite Animal Dog
Favourite ColourBlue

B. R. Ambedkar

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Some Lesser Known Facts About B. R. Ambedkar

  • Did B. R. Ambedkar smoke?: Not Known
  • Did B. R. Ambedkar drink alcohol?: Not Known
  • He was born in 1891 in a Marathi family and was the fourteenth and last child to his parents. His family belonged to Ambadawe town of Mandangad Taluka in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, India.
  • His father got retired from the British Indian Army in 1894, and two years later, he shifted to Satara (a city in Maharashtra) along with his family. After some time of their settlement in Maharashtra, B. R. Ambedkar lost his mother.
  • The real surname of B. R. Ambedkar was Sakpal, but his father registered his surname as Ambadawekar (after the name of his native village, ‘Ambadawe’) during his school admission.
  • He was born in such a community which was considered as low cast by the society and had to face a lot of humiliation throughout his school time by the teachers and schoolfellows, which were considered as upper-cast by the society. He explained the situation later in his book titled “No peon, No water.”

    Childhood Image of Bhimrao Ambedkar

    Childhood image of Bhimrao Ambedkar

  • In his school time, he was the favourite student of his teacher Mahadev Ambedkar, who was a Brahmin. Later, the teacher changed his surname from ‘Ambadawekar’ to ‘Ambedkar.’
  • In 1897, his family shifted to Mumbai and there he joined Elphinstone High School (he was the only untouchable student in the school). Then, he got married to Ramabai (a 9-year-old girl) in 1906, at the age of 15.

    B. R. Ambedkar's Elphinstone College, Mumbai

    B. R. Ambedkar’s Elphinstone College, Mumbai

  • His wedding didn’t dissuade him in his academics. He completed his matriculation in 1907 and then got admission in the Elphinstone College, Mumbai, and became the first person from the untouchable community to achieve this. Later, in the book “The Buddha and his Dhamma,” he described how the folks of his Dalit society wanted to celebrate that moment (it was a big success for them).
  • In 1912, he received his degree in Political Science and Economics from Bombay Univesity and got a government job with the princely state of Baroda (now, Gujarat). This job opened new doors for him, as in 1913, he got the opportunity to pursue post-graduation at the Columbia University in the US through a Baroda State Scholarship. The scholarship was given by the Gaekwads of Baroda accolading ₹1,060.25 (£11.50, sterling) every month for three years.
  • In 1913, at the age of 22, he moved to the US for his higher studies. He completed his MA in 1915; majoring in Economics and presented his thesis ‘Ancient Indian Commerce’ for the same.
  • Then, he came back to India and appointed as the Defence Secretary to the King of Baroda. He faced social discrimination again even at Baroda for being an ‘Untouchable.’ In 1916, he presented his second thesis “National Dividend of India – A Historical and Analytical Study” for his another MA degree, and eventually, he received his PhD in Economics in 1927.
  • In October 1916, he applied at Gay’s Inn, London for the Bar Course. Simultaneously, he started his doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics. In June 1917, he had to come back to India due to the end of his Baroda scholarship. In 1918, he joined Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay as a Political Economy Professor.

    B. R. Ambedkar with his professors and friends from the London School of Economics and Political Science

    B. R. Ambedkar with his professors and friends from the London School of Economics and Political Science

  • In 1921, four years later, he got the permission to return to London to present his thesis titled “The problem of the rupee: Its origin and its solution,” and finally completed his master’s degree.
  • In 1923, he pursued his D.Sc. in Economics. The same year, he got a call from Gray’s Inn for his Bar Course. His third Doctorate LL.D, Columbia, 1952 and fourth Doctorate D.Litt., Osmania, 1953 were granted honoris causa (degrees awarded without examinations). With his achievements, he became the first Indian to pursue his Doctorate overseas.
  • In 1925, he worked with All-European Simon Commission after being selected into the Bombay Presidency Committee.
  • In 1927, he started his campaign to fight for the rights of Untouchables. Instead of violence, he followed the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and raised his voice for the equal rights of Dalit people to access the drinking water sources and enter the temples.
  • In 1932, due to his increasing popularity as a fighter for Untouchables’ rights, he was invited to London to attend the Second Round Table Conference. After the discussion, they found a way called the Poona Pact. As per Poona Pact, a reservation system was granted to the Dalit community in the regional legislative assemblies and Central Council of States. Later, these classes were designated as Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Classes.

    B. R. Ambedkar with the Soldiers of Mahar Regiment and Movement

    B. R. Ambedkar with the Soldiers of Mahar Regiment and Movement

  • In 1935, he started his job at the Government Law College as a Principal, where he worked for almost two years. The same year, he played an important role in the establishment of RBI (Reserve Bank of India).
  • In 1936, he became the founder of his political party named ‘Independent Labour Party.’ The same year, he launched his book, “The Annihilation of Caste.” The book was against the country’s practice of untouchability.
  • He opposed the decision of Mahatma Gandhi and Congress to call the Dalit Community as “Harijans.” Later, he was appointed as the Minister for Labour of the Defence Advisory Committee and the Viceroy’s Executive Council. On 29 August 1947, his scholar reputation led to his designation as the first Law Minister of the Free India and also the Chairman of the Committee liable to build a constitution for the independent India.

    B. R. Ambedkar oath ceremony of Law Minister

    B. R. Ambedkar oath ceremony of Law Minister

  • The constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950. It took him the time of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to draft the Constitution of the world’s largest democracy. The motive of the constitution was to provide freedom of religion, equality of rights, and annihilate the gap between different classes of the society throughout the country. This constitution even offered reservations in education and jobs for the people of reserved categories. For his contribution in the formation of Indian Constitution, he is also famous as the Father of the Indian Constitution. Apart from this, he also played a significant role in establishing the Finance Commission of India; which helped the nation to grow both socially and economically.

    Constitution of India

    Constitution of India

  • In 1950, he was converted to Buddhism after attending a convention of Buddhist scholars and monks in Sri Lanka. In 1955, he established the Buddhist Society of India (Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha). On 14 October 1956, he organized a public event where he converted 5 lakh of his followers to Buddhism and also published his book titled ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma.’

    Gautam Budha

    Gautam Budha

  • He also led the movement; demanding the reduction in factory hours (14 to 8 a day) for the workers.
  • He formed several laws in India for women labors including the Labor Protection Act, Woman & Child, Mines Maternity Benefit, and Woman Labor Welfare Fund.
  • He had been suffering from the weak eyesight and diabetes since 1948 and was bedridden from 1954. Consequently, he said goodbye to this world on 6 December 1956 in his sleep.

    B. R. Ambedkar Mahaparinirvana Image

    B. R. Ambedkar Mahaparinirvana Image

  • He was posthumously awarded the highest honour of India “Bharat Ratna” in 1990.
  • He was a great book lover. He designed his house “Rajgriha” at Bombay especially to store the vast collection of his books (approx. 50,000). His library was the biggest library in Bombay from 1924 to 1934.
  • In 2000, a film “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” was released. The film was based on B. R. Ambedkar’s journey and was directed by Jabbar Patel.

    Babasaheb Ambedkar Hindi Film Poster

    Babasaheb Ambedkar Hindi Film Poster

  • The autobiography of B. R. Ambedkar “Waiting for a Visa;” written during 1935-1936, is now used as a textbook in the Columbia Univesity. Here’s a video on B. R. Ambedkar’s life:

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