Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Rajaram Devji Nikhade

Akola, Maharashtra

September 18, 2023 to September 18, 2024

Rajaram Devji Nikhade was born in Patur, Akola district, in April 1924. His mother's name was Sharjabai, and his father was Devji Natthuji Nikhade. His parents were very active opponents of Nizamshahi. He set up lodging and food for the underground activists, inadvertently participating in this movement. He completed his studies at Patur Primary School until the seventh grade.

At that time, the leaders of the right and left fronts, as well as socialist ideologies, came together to aim for Goa to get independence. Numerous detachments of freedom fighters from Maharashtra were repeatedly trying to enter the territory of Goa. Goa Liberation Movement Was established in Pune. S. M. Joshi, N. G. Gore, Shirubhau Limaye, Senapati Bapat, Peter Alwaris, Madhu Dandavate, JayavantraoTilak, etc. participated in this. Interestingly, the famous musician Sudhir Phadke also actively participated in the Goa liberation struggle. Detachments of freedom fighters from Maharashtra were repeatedly trying to enter the territory of Goa. In 1955, the first unit under the leadership of Senapati Bapat left for Goa. Then he was arrested by the Portuguese army at the border of Goa. After that, one after another, freedom fighter units kept coming to Goa. This movement starts in a planned manner. All the borders of Goa were occupied by freedom fighters. Along with Rajaram Nikhade from the Akola division, Shankarao Mankar, Haribhau Hiralkar, Achyutrao Deshpande, and many others participated. There, his team was arrested by the Portuguese. He then went underground and took part in the Goa Liberation War. But finally, due to the tireless work and sacrifice of thousands of activists, Goa was freed from the Portuguese. On behalf of the Maharashtra Government, the late Chief Minister Vasantrao Naik honored him with the Swatantrya Sainik Sanmanpatra on October 2, 1971. After independence, Rajaram worked in the private transportation sector. He was an active worker for the Samajwadi Party. He made unremitting efforts to solve the problems of workers in the transport sector. He joined the State Transport Board in 1965–66. There, too, he worked for the labor union of ST Corporation. He passed away on October 27, 2009, at Akola.