The man who spurred the indifferent youth of India to voice their opinions against rampant corruption, Anna Hazare is one of the country’s most respected social activists. Hazare, a proponent of the non-violence movement frequently conducts hunger strikes to bring social issues of concern into limelight so that the political parties take action. Well into his seventies, the elderly gentleman has dedicated the major part of his life to making his village and country a better place. Born as the eldest son into a poor family in rural Maharshtra, he witnessed very difficult times during his childhood. He went on to work in the army where he survived a road crash and was the lone survivor when the underground Naga rebels attacked his army post. These incidents made him realize that his life was spared for a specific purpose and dedicated the rest of his life to service. Back home, at the village of Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra, he was pained to see how under developed the place was. He organized a group of like-minded people and transformed the place into a model village within years. Taking forward his social work, he began conducting hunger strikes to make political parties take note of burning social issues.

He was born as Kisan Baburao Hazare in a village near Ahmednagar as the eldest son of Baburao Hazare and Laxmi Bai. He has six siblings. His father was an unskilled laborer and the family struggled to make ends meet.

A relative took upon himself the responsibility of educating Anna Hazare and took him to Mumbai where he was admitted into a local school. However, due to financial strains the relative had to discontinue the boy’s education while in seventh standard.

Anna Hazare started earning his livelihood by selling flowers at the railway stations. He was hardworking and soon set up two flower shops of his own.

Hazare was drafted in the Indian Army in April 1960, where he initially worked as an army truck driver and was later attested as a soldier. He undertook army training at Aurangabad.