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KESHAV BALIRAM HEDGEWAR

Hardship During Childhood

At the close of the nineteenth century, the epidemic of plague used to play havoc in the country every few years. No medicine nor cure was available for the disease at that time. People were greatly distressed. And to add insult to injury, the British’s began to intentionally target the people for harassment, which was more severe than the dreaded disease. As an unavoidable consequence, many people died a most tortuous and harrowing death. Nagpur then had a population of a hundred thousand; and out of them two to three hundred people succumbed every day to plague.

Being an orthodox priest, Balirampant was attending to funeral ceremonies of the deceased every day. Many others in the city had deserted their homes and were living in hutments in the outskirts. But Balirampant did not budge from his house. He scornfully remarked: "What can the plague do to me?" But dead rats were soon found in his house too. Both he and his wife caught the disease. Treatment was started. One day, his son Sitarampant went out to bring medicines. On his return, shock awaited him. His father and mother had both died! Keshav was just thirteen thens.

After the sudden and simultaneous demise of both parents, Keshav's hardship knew no bounds. The eldest brother Mahadev Shastri had taken to loose and unbridled ways. All the household chores like cutting wood, drawing water, cooking, etc., fell to the lot of Keshav and his elder brother Sitarampant. Sometimes they had to go without food. Often they had to roam about with torn clothes on their person. As if this were not enough, their short tempered eldest brother heaped abuses and thrashed them often. Keshav began to spend most of his time in his friends' houses.

But Keshav was full of self-respect. Often even when he was hungry, he would not approach his friends for food. It was not in his nature to stretch his hand before anybody for anything. Despite travails, his attention to his studies was never affected. He was always ahead in his class. He was sober and spoke sparingly. He established instant rapport with others, and others too longed for his company. He was a favorite student of his teachers. The daily four-mile run to the school never proved to be a problem for him

He was deeply inspired by incidents from the heroic life of emperor Shivaji.

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Keshava Baliram Hedgewar - Founder Of Rashtriya Swamyamsevak Sangh.
About Keshava Baliram
Introduction
Lineage
You are Here! Hardship During Childhood
Gallant Fighter For Motherland
Strong In Mind And Body
Intolerant Of Egoists ' Friend Of Sufferers
Prudence And Caution
Revolutionary

Whiter Justice

Final Decision
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Discipline Personified
Growth Of Sangh Work
Appreciation By Gandhiji
Blessings By The Eminent
Opposition Weakens
Simple, Lovable Personality
Last Days
Torch-Bearer Of The Country
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