Raghunath Dhondo Keshav Karve

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He not only predicted future complications like population growth and sexual problems, but also did a lot of work to find a solution for it. But then too, he was unappreciated and alone in his battle, even in this new reforming world. His name was ‘Raghunath Dhondo Karve’.

Raghunath Karve was the elder son of Maharshi Dhondo Karve. He was born at Murud in Dapoli district. He finished his primary education too at Murud. In became a matric with 1st rank from New English School, Pune in 1899. In 1904, he became a B.A from Fergusson College, Pune. He became an M.A in Mathematics. Later he stayed in Paris and earned a degree in Mathematics. After that he served as a professor in many esteemed institutions like, Solapur High School (1903), Elphinstone College (1908 – 1917), Karnataka College (1917-19), Gurunath College (1921) and Wilson College, Mumbai (1922 – 25). During his tenure at Wilson college, he spread awareness among people by writing and giving lectures about Family planning, Population growth and Sexual problems. The administration dept of Wilson college did not agree with this. They denied him permission to practice what he was doing and offered him to choose between his job at the college or his social cause. But Raghunath Karve did not compromise on his ideals and aims & he choose to leave the job. After that he faced extremely unfavorable conditions personally but continued to do valuable work to spread awareness about family planning. He boldly decided to create awareness about family planning, in an era, where even talking about it was a taboo.

In 1923, he wrote a book named ‘Santatiniyaman Aachar ani Vichar’ (Family planning: Thoughts and Action). He wrote more educating books like ‘Guptrogapasun Bachav’ & ‘Aadhunik Kaamashastra’. In 1927 he published ‘Samajswasthya’; a monthly on social health, and continued it till death (14th October 1953). Through this monthly, he tried to educated people about sex education. He hardly could meet his own needs, yet he never seized from continuing the monthly. He wrote many books like, ‘Adhunik Kamashastra’ (1934), ‘Adhunik Aharshastra’ (1938) & ‘Vaishya Vyavasay’ (1940), which had a scientific approach. Some of his other light themed books were ‘Parischya Ghari’ (1946) and ’13 Goshti’ (1940).

Raghunath Karve’s life was nothing but a heart-breaking tragedy. All his life, he received nothing but poverty, hatred, neglect and insults. But, his wife, Malatibai, supported him and helped him his entire life. Apart from his wife, he had support of Dr. Ambedkar, Wrangler Paranjape, Riyastkar Sardesai, and Mama Varekar. He had to swim against the current all his life. He got hurt, but he never gave up.

Truth be told, the great work done by R.D.Karve, played a very important and progressive role, that contributed to society’s health and strength. His role was supported with a strong scientific and medical reasoning. His work was a great service done for the country which became a foundation for the modern society’s formation. That is why, his work is remembered today with respect.

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