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Bhikshu Akhandanand – Short Biography

Bhikshu Akhandanand (1874 – 1942) devoted his entire life to educate the oppressed masses through low priced highly educative books. His original name was Lallubhai Thakkar. He was born in the Kaira district of Gujarat in India and belonged to the Lohara caste (iron smith). According to the family tradition, he was engaged in the iron business. However, he was fortunate enough to receive education. His early education was done in a pathashala (village school) and later at the Government secondary school. Although he joined his family business as an iron merchant, he was more dedicated towards the downtrodden class (Harijans) to inculcate in them various values of life. He became a publisher and approached the masses through his books.

Bhikshu Akhandanand published literary compilations mainly on religious subjects. However, his books also focused on numerous social problems that the poor and socially neglected were facing. Character formation was the chief emphasis of his anthologies and through his books he preached the importance of cleanliness and spoke of the problems pertaining to women and children.

Under a scheme called the ‘Sasta Sahitya Prakashan’ he published the classics of Hindu religion. Making them available to people from all walks of life, with an objective to create awareness among the common man was a part of his duty towards himself and society. He was a staunch supporter of the Indian freedom movement and utilized indigenous Indian stationery for all his publications.