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Messiah of the downtrodden
Babuji fought for the cause of social justice since his student days and continued to fight all his life for a better deal for the underprivileged. He began this fight as an adolescent of 14, when he forced the Principal of the Town School, Arrah to stop the abominable practice of keeping a separate pitcher for the so called untouchable students. As a student in Calcutta he established Ravidas Mahasabha. In 1934, he became the Secretary General of Harijan Sevak Sangh, set up by Gandhiji. He founded the Bhartiya Depressed Classes League in 1935. He mobilized the dalits through these organizations.
Relief work for the earthquake victims- meeting with Gandhiji
In 1934, when the unprecedented earthquake in Bihar caused untold horror and destruction, Babuji immersed himself totally in relief work. Gandhiji rushed to Bihar. That was the first time Babuji met him and joined his band of volunteers for the relief operation. In October 1941, on an invitation by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Babuji stayed in Wardha Ashram for 10 days and had detailed discussions with Gandhiji on the problems of Dalits and the struggle for the independence.
Democratic rights
In the year 1935, Babuji appeared before the Hammond Commission, which had come from Britain and strongly advocated that Dalits should exercise their franchise in the election of 1936-1937. Since then, Dalits have the right to vote.
The provision of reservation was not so easily included in the Constitution. There were strong undercurrents of protest. At that juncture, the ultimate responsibility of garnering support lay on the shoulders of Babuji, who was the most influential and senior leader among Dalits. With his inherent wisdom and sagacity, Babuji obtained consensus, as a result of which the provision of reservation saw the light of the day.

In the wake of independence, there were few Scheduled Caste officers at the Center or in the States. All the Chief Ministers belonged to the so called upper castes. Yet, without any bitterness or tension, Babuji made them implement reservation, open Harijan hostels, and start other schemes for Harijans welfare and against untouchability. Due to his political clout, the Chief Ministers themselves regularly sent him the implementation reports of reservation and welfare scheme. His suggestions concerning Dalit welfare carried immense weight and were treated as an order. It is due to his untiring efforts that today Dalits are more aware, are getting educated and have reached high positions. His continuous patronage of over 50 years has given courage to Dalits and has helped them embark on the road to progress.

In 1957, Babuji made the provision of reservation in promotions. He was then the Minister of Railways. His decision met with serious protests and opposition. The matter was brought before the Supreme Court where the opponents lost. Since then the provision of reservation in promotion came into existence.

In the Constitution, the provision of reservation was made for just ten years. With the immence influence of Babuji, the term was extended from time to time. Whenever voices against reservation were heard, he suppressed them with his stature and mass appeal. He made sure that in his Ministery all the reserved seats were filled.
Temple Entry
He believed that the change of religion does not lead to change of caste. Whatever religion Dalits may adopt, they would continue to be looked down upon. Had it not been so, Dalits embracing Buddhism would not have felt the need for reservation. He wanted Dalits to continue in the same religion and fight for their rights.

In order that Dalits are treated with respect in Hindu religion, he made sure that the gates of the temple shut for them for the thousands of years, were opened. Jagannath Dham, Puri, Vishwanath Mandir, Kashi, Meenakshi Mandir, Madurai are a few of many such famous temples personally opened by him.
Landless Farmers
Babuji knew that in our agrarian society, only a handful of Dalits would be benefited from reservation. Crores of landless Dalits would still continue to subsist as the victims of the Zamindari and Jagirdari systems and such social evil as begar. Babuji made the provision that a Dalit should get right over the land he had been tilling as a landless labourer. Since then, land has been distributed to landless agricultural labourers from time to time. Consequently, a large number of landless farmers now own land.
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