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Renowned writer-physician, de-addiction activist Anil Awachat passes away

File photo of Anil Awachat.
Shoumojit BanerjeeJanuary 27, 2022 18:03 IST
Updated: January 27, 2022 18:05 IST

He was founder-director of the Muktangan de-addiction centre in Pune

Renowned physician-activist and writer Dr. Anil Awachat, founder of the de-addiction Muktangan Centre, passed away following a prolonged illness at his residence in Pune on Thursday morning. He was 78.

The multi-faceted Dr. Awachat did yeoman service in helping addicts across India through his Muktangan de-addiction Centre for several decades. Muktangan was set up in the mid-1980s and helped treat thousands of addicts using medicines and varied therapies.

Dr. Awachat, who got his medical degree from Pune’s B.J. Medical College, was noted for his incisive writings and contribution to literary journalism.

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In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal called Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985) on Dalit atrocities and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.

Paying rich tributes to Dr. Awachat, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in his condolence message said he was a self-taught writer and a born journalist whose writings had left an indelible impression on Marathi literature.

“Dr. Awachat’s writing and social work will be an inspiration for generations to come. Maharashtra will always remember his significant contributions to the fields of de-addiction and mental health and his unique writing style left a mark on Marathi journalism,” said Mr. Thackeray.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said Dr. Awachat was a multifaceted personality who contributed to society as medical expert, journalist, author, painter, sculptor, and social activist.

“His departure is a big loss to the social, literary and cultural spheres of society,” Mr. Pawar said.

Dr. Awachat is survived by his daughters Mukta and Yashoda and their families.

In 2017, Dr. Awachat was honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Foundation (America) award, which is instituted by members of the Maharashtrian community residing in the U.S. and given to prominent individuals who have brought significant change in the fields of social service and literature through their work.

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