Prabhudutt Kheda gets maiden Mahatma Gandhi award

Prabhudutt Kheda gets maiden Mahatma Gandhi award

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister gives the maiden Mahatma Gandhi award to Dr Prabhudutt Kheda, in Raipur on Tuesday. DH PHOTO

90-year-old Gandhian scholar Dr Prabhudutt Kheda, who is based in the tribal belt in Bilaspur district was conferred the maiden Chhattisgarh government Mahatma Gandhi Memorial National Award in Raipur.

He received a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation.

Chief Minister Raman Singh lauded the efforts, hard work and dedication of the veteran Gandhian, and announced the government decision to take over the higher secondary school run by Kheda.

Singh also sanctioned Rs 20 lakh towards the construction of the school building.

When asked how he would spend the Rs 5 lakh awarded to him, Dr Kheda said the amount would be spent on salaries of the teachers. He also thanked the chief minister for the amount for the school building.

Dr Kheda works in the tribal-dominated Achanakmar area in Bilaspur revenue division. The location is considered a sanctuary area.

For the last three decades, he has been working for the education and health of tribal children here.

Dr Kheda was born in 1928 in Lahore, in an India before partition.

After the country was split, his family came to Delhi as refugees in 1947. After obtaining his PhD, he joined the education department and then the NCERT, where he remained for 10 years.

He was then appointed a professor of Social Studies in Delhi University. While there, he had come with some of his students to Achanakmar for a study tour. This was the turning point of his life.

After he retired in 1993, he began living in a small hut in the area. He efforts there resulted in the higher secondary school, where around a 100 tribal students study now.