2020 Mahatma Gandhi Commemorative Lecture: "The Odyssey of Community Service: A Personal Reflection"

October 03, 2020

Dr. Prakash Amte & Dr. Mandakini Amte, 2020 Thakore Visiting Scholars

Saturday, October 3, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Location TBA

Co-sponsored by SFU's J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities, SFU's Institute for the Humanities, & The Thakore Charitable Foundation.


Abstract to be added soon.


The Thakore Visiting Scholar Award has been awarded annually since 1991 at Simon Fraser University. It honours individuals who have devoted their lives to “creativity, commitment, and a deep concern for truth in public life, which includes, but is not limited to, showing the connection between academic values and critical public spirit.”

The award also recognizes commitment to Gandhi’s ideals of truth, non-violence, social justice, religious tolerance, education and ethics in politics. In addition to these principles, the award adds racial equality and concern for balance between industry and the environment.

This year's award recipients are Dr. Prakash Amte and Dr. Mandakini Amte for their work with Lok Biradari Prakalp (LBP), a non-profit, social project involving a hospital, school, and animal orphanage in Hemalkasa, Bhamragad taluka in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra, India.

For further details on the award, past recipients, and the other events of the annual Gandhi Jayanti, please visit http://gandhijayanti.com.

Dr. Prakash Amte & Dr. Mandakini Amte, 2020 Thakore Visiting Scholars

Dr. Prakash Murlidhar Amte, M.B.B.S., has been the Medical Director of Lok Biradari Prakalp (LBP) since 1974. He received his medical degree at Nagpur University in 1971 and moved to Hemalkasa shortly after in 1973 to start LBP with his father, Baba Amte, who is known as modern Gandhi in India. In addition to being the Founder and Director of LBP, Dr. Amte has also served as Assistant Secretary of Maharogi Sewa Samiti in Warora, Trustee to the World Wildlife Fund, and Member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. For his lifelong devotion to social work, Dr. Amte has received over 60 awards, including the Adivasi Sevak Award from the Maharastra Government in 1984, Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2008, THE ONE Hong Kong Humanitarian Annual Award in 2016, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from ICMR (presented by Bill Gates) in 2019. He, along with his wife, Dr. Mandakini Amte, was also honoured by The Principality of Monaco when it issued a postal stamp of their images in 1995. Additionally, a film was made by Marathi Film (with National Award winner, Director Samruddhi Porey) in 2014 about his life, titled Dr. Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero. The film went on to win Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Actress at the 2015 Filmfare Awards Marathi, and was considered for nominations at the Oscars under the same categories. 

Dr. Mandakini Prakash Amte, M.B.B.S., graduated with her medical degree from Nagpur University in 1971 and went on to earn a post-graduate Diploma in Anaesthesia in 1973. She was a former Lecturer in Anaesthesia at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur and has been the Medical Officer of LBP since 1974. Dr. Amte has been honoured with a number of awards for her lifelong service to health care, education, and animal welfare, including the Adivasi Sevak Award from the Maharastra Government in 1986, Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2008, and Sheikh Hamdan International Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services in Dubai in 2010–11. In 1995, she and her husband, Dr. Prakash Amte, were honoured with a postage stamp by the Principality of Monaco. The commemorative stamp was especially significant because this was only the second time that the Kingdom of Monaco chose to honour a foreigner for their humanitarian work. Her dedication and work were also featured in the biopic about her husband, titled Dr. Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero. She was played by actress Sonali Kulkarni, who later won Best Actress for the role at the 2015 Filmfare Awards Marathi.