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A true friend of Vanvasis: Bhogi Lal Pandya

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Bhogilal Pandya (Pandyaji) was a notable freedom fighter and social worker from Dungarpur in Rajasthan. On 3 April 1976, the Bharat Sarcar conferred on Pandyaji the Padma Bhushan award for his social services. The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award. It is awarded for distinguished service of a high order to the nation. For his selfless service to the nation and community and for championing education and rights of the poor and underprivileged, Pandyaji is referred by the people of Rajashthan as “Gandhi of Vahgad” (name given to the region of Rajasthan encompassing the Dungarpur District).

In 1938, Pandyaji was elected President of Seva-sangh (Seva Sangh – Dungarpur Rajasthan), an organisation dedicated to community service in the Dungarpur, Udipur, Jaipur and Jaisalmare regions of Rajasthan. Through this organisation, Pandyaji provided community leadership and championed the cause for education of poor village students and gaining rights for and improving the lives of the backward peoples of Bhil society. After Bharat gained its independence, Pandyaji was appointed to ministerial positions in the first State government. Between 1948 and 1956 he was industrial minister and minister of temples. Between 1969 and 1977, he held the post of Chairman of Khadi Board of Rajasthan.

Shri Bohgilal Pandya was born in Simalwara village of Dungarpur District of the State of Rajasthan. He was born into a Trivedi Mevada Bhramin family on 13 November 1904. His father’s name was Shri Pitamber Pandya and his mother’s name was Smt. Nathibai Pandya. Pandyaji was married to Maniben in 1920 in Nanawada Village of Malpur County of Sabarkantha in the State of Gujarat. Pandyaji and Smt. Maniben had three sons (Dinbandhu, the eldest, Vasudeo and Kaniyalal, the youngest) and two daughters (Saraswati, the elder daughter and Mohini, the youngest of all children).

Shri Bohgilal Pandya left his body on 31 March 1981 at the age 77. The Government of Rajasthan named Dungarpur government college as Bhogilal Pandya Government College in his memory.


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