Ambedkar Memorial Lectures were initiated in 2009 as part of Ambedkar Habba Celebrations. The ‘Habba’ itself came about as a way to celebrate the man who had achieved what had been impossible for thousands of years. He had transformed the most downtrodden, voiceless community into a force to reckon with. The Habba was to commemorate and celebrate his birth and renew our promise to him about fulfilling his dream of an equal and just society.
People from across the state visit Spoorthidhama to participate in seminars, workshops and for an exchange of ideas and experiences. While there is food, dancing and singing as part of the celebration, we felt it was important to use the occasion to honor those who had been treading in Ambedkar’s path, working with the marginalized and striving for their liberation. That is how two Annual Awards came to be instituted- the Bodhivriksha and Bodhivardhana awards. The two Buddhist names were chosen by Anand Bantiji, who currently heads the Maha Bodhi Society. Bodhivriksha is awarded for lifetime achievement and carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and a citation. Five Bodhivardhana awards are given for significant contribution to a social cause, each of which carry a cash prize of Rs.20000 and a citation.
In addition to workshops and seminars, the Habba also hosts the annual Ambedkar Memorial Lecture that is delivered by eminent persons from the academia and activism alike. Scholars and activists who have made significant contribution in articulating foundational ideas of equality and social justice have been invited to deliver this annual lecture