BANGALORE: Officials, especially of the IAS and IPS cadre usually enter politics after their retirement or take voluntary retirement (VRS) to weave their way into the political power circle. But this retired Director General of Police has taken a different course, dedicating his life to social service.
S M a r i swamy, f o r m e r DGP,(IPS-1972-2006) who had also served as Police Commissioner of Bangalore, is now spending his retired police life as a social-worker.
With a noble cause of empowering the down-trodden people of the society he constituted the ‘Baba Saheb Ambedkar Shathamanothsava Samithi Trust’. Interestingly, the trust under his chairmanship consists of 11 trustees including retired officials from other sectors like BEL, United India Insurance, Revenue and Horticulture.
With a mission of working towards empowering the underprivileged and making them socially, economically and culturally selfdependent, Mariswamy constituted “Spoorthi Dhama” under the “Baba Saheb Ambedkar Shathamanothsava Samithi Trust” in 1990 when he was in service. After retirement from the police service, he has actively been involved in the activities of Spoorthi Dhama.
The ideologies of Buddha, Basavanna, Ambedkar, Periyar Ramaswamy, Jyotirao Phule, Narayana Guru and a number of others who have fought against injustice of every kind came together in the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f S p o o r t h i Dhama.
Location Spoorthi Dhama is located on 30 acres in Anjananagar adjacent to Magadi Road, about 14 km away from the city. Mariswamy and his team started Spoorthi Dhama in an innovative way. Its arms are: The Subodhi Institute of self employment and rural development has been imparting vocational courses to the youth of the towns and villages around; the Cultural Centre has been conducting training programmes and performances involving rural & folk forms; the Milind Public school which is run with a view to give quality education to children.
A vision Mariswamy, with support from donors, has a vision to build a Lumbini Island in the Spoothi Dhama with a large image of Buddha and a small lake around the image. The island will have space for meditation and worship by the Upasakas and Upasikas.
He also is planning to construct a “Mahavana Monastery” in the true spirit of the path shown by Ambedkar.
The Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), New Delhi has come forward to set up its branch in Spoorthidhama.
This centre is the first extension of IIDS outside Delhi.
“The proposed Ambedkar memorial is the central piece in the campus.
It is intended to be a grand structure - visual, emotional and intellectual, and will act as a place of spiritual rejuvenation to both the social activist and the common man,” Mariswamy said. “The memorial would be a structure approximately 60-feet high. It would house a museum which will contain a narration on the life of Baba Saheb and other great souls who have struggled Spoorthi Dhama- Ambedkar Memorial Campus has been celebrating Ambedkar’s birth anniversary as “Ambedkar Habba” on April 14 with the hoisting of Buddhist flag and Buddha Vandana.
The trust has also instituted one “Bodhivriksha” award of Rs 1 lakh and five “Bodhivardhana” awards of Rs 20,000 each to be given to persons/ organisations working among the poor, oppressed and marginalised sections like Devadasis, poura karmikas, sex workers, bonded labourer and quarry workers. The first Bodhivriksha award will be given to the founder-president of Mahabodhi society Buddharakkita Thero.
for the cause, and a history of the struggles of the world. It would also house a library, a research centre and a publications division.”