Babasaheb Ambedkar and 2500 Tamils embracing Buddhism on 28 October 1956 in Rangoon (Burma)

As we know that wherever Babasaheb Ambedkar went, he mobilised his people. While on the tours to countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Burma to attend Buddhist conferences, Babasaheb Ambedkar gave priority to talk to his people. In Sri Lanka, he encouraged the untouchables there to embrace Buddhism. In Nepal, he went to the localities of the untouchables and mobilised his people. Burma was for a long time administered from India and had significant population of the untouchable community speaking Tamil and Telugu language. As you can see from below, he met his people when he visited Rangoon and with Tamil Buddhist leaders (Followers of Pandita Ayothee Thass, for sure), Babasaheb was able to establish a Buddhist School. Following on the footsteps of their leader, the untouchables all over India and abroad were keen to take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.
When Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism on 14th October 1956, at the same time, 2500 Tamils of Rangoon ( Burma) took Deeksha near the Great Sacred Cave, near the World Peace Pagoda, on Sunday the 28th October 1956 at 9 am.
Bhadant Pandita Mahathera, Aggamahapandita, Principal of Dhammaduta College, administered the Three Refuges.
In his address of veneration, the Honorable Justice U Chan Htoon mentioned that at the suggestion of Dr. Ambedkar who attended the 3rd Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Rangoon in 1954, he and some Tamil Buddhist leaders were able to establish a Buddhist school at Dalla and educate about 500 Tamils to Buddhism. When 2500 youths were given Samanera ordination during the Buddha Jayanti Celebration, 50 Tamils were included. Very recently it was possible to establish a “Tamil Young Buddhist League” consisting of about 3500 from 4000 Tamil laborers of Rangoon. (pp. 81-82, The Light of the Dhamma, January 1957 issue)
Photo. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Periyar in Rangoon in 1954 (?)

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