Harijan Sevak Sangh was founded today, on September 30, in 1932, when Gandhi Ji was on fast in the Yervada Jail, Pune.
- Just before that, during the Second Round Table Conferece in London in 1931, Gandhi ji had opposed the segregation of the depressed classes of the Hindu community into a separate electoral group.
- Gandhi Ji said that, this step is a device of British government to create a split in the Hindu community in order to strengthen its policy of divide and rule.
- So, On 30 September, Gandhi founded All India Anti Untouchability League, so as to remove untouchability in the society.
- The league was later renamed as Harijan Sevak Sangh meaning “Servants of Untouchables Society”.
- In that regard, the Harijan- a weekly newspaper was also started.
- Gandhi ji called untouchables Harijan which means children of God.
- Gandhi ji began to fast On 20th September 1932. So this day was observed as a day of fasting and prayer.
- This step of Gandhi ji to support the untouchables was further supported by Poet Rabindranath Tagore At Shantiniketan. He spoke to a large gathering stating them the significance of the fast and the urgency of fighting an age-old evil.
Harijan Sevak Sangh
It is a non-profit organisation which was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932 in order to eradicate untouchability in India, working for Harijan or Dalit people and their upliftment. It is headquartered at Kingsway Camp in Delhi having its branches in 26 states across India. Ghanshyam Das Birla was its founding president and Amritlal Takkar was its Secretary.
The Sangh helped the depressed classes to provide them access to public places including temples, schools, roads and water resources. The Sangh also conducted inter dining and inter caste marriages. It constructed and maintains several schools and hostels.