Buddha Bhavan, hub of Dalit education, celebrates 60 yrs of service

Buddha Bhavan, hub of Dalit education, celebrates 60 yrs of service
Highlights

Established 60 years ago with an objective to unite dalits and educate local youth, ‘Buddha Bhavan’ has served as an education centre for communists in the district.

Hanamkonda: Established 60 years ago with an objective to unite dalits and educate local youth, ‘Buddha Bhavan’ has served as an education centre for communists in the district.

Located at Kumarapally area in Hanamkonda, the name ‘Buddha Bhavan’ is synonymous with its founder late B R Bhagawan Das, prominent dalit communist leader in the erstwhile Warangal district during the post independence era.Nearly 100 dalit families and their children, who lived in that area, got deprived of education.

After independence there used to be only few schools in the town and education was offered in Urdu medium. The dalit students were not given admission into those schools. In order to change the situation, Bhagawan Das first constructed a small hut by procuring a piece of land to educate dalits who were subjected to untouchability. He attracted the youth by organising programmes of bhajans and keertans every day.

The set up had also served as a fight against Razakars and feudal lords during that period. In 1956, a pucca building was constructed and Bhagawan Das being a staunch follower of B R Ambedkar, named it after Buddha as Ambedkar was a follower of Buddhism. The locals lend their support in the construction of the building with the support of the District Collector Kaki Madhava Rao.

After its completion it has served as a hub for Left wing activism. Stalwart communists like Puchalapalli Sundaraiah, Chandra Rajeshwara Rao, Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, Puvvada Nageshwar Rao, Maddikayala Omkar, Peoples’ War leader K G Satyamurthy, former Ministers Goka Ramaswamy and Moturi Hanmantha Rao used to frequent Buddha Bhavan. The visiting leaders used to chalk out their future activities, the local communist leaders say.

According to senior CPI leader T Srinivasa Rao, Buddha Bhavan had also inspired the local youth to get educated and rise to prominent positions in their life. “Buddha Bhavan has inspired us to face the suppression meted out to dalits.

It helped to produce as many as 20 doctors, 50 engineers, 100 teachers, a judge, scores of officials and government employees” said M Narender, who retired as a general manager, BSNL. In order to ensure regular education to local children, Bhagawan Das had approached B S Venkat Rao, a Minister in Hyderabad, following which a school was started at Basith Nagar, Dr B R Rajsiddarth, a member of Telangana Medical Council, told The Hans India.

Deputy Chief Minister K Srihari, MP B Vinod Kumar, MLA D Vinay Bhasker, Dalit Sena State President J B Raju, All India Bouddha Maha Sabha National Secretary Bommalla Kattaiah, Former Municipal Chairman S Prasada Raju and many others claim that Buddha Bhavan had contributed a lot in shaping their future. Both Vinod Kumar and Vinay Bhasker have promised their assistance in renovating Buddha Bhavan.

Participating in the jubilee celebrations of Buddha Bhavan, the leaders paid homage to late Bhagawan Das. In recognition of the communist leaders’ services to the society, Warangal Municipal Corporation has installed his life sized statue at Hanamkonda Chowrastha and named a road after him.

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