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List of Famous Social Reformers of India / World:

Social ReformerImportant Contributions
Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Founder of Brahmo Samaj

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an Indian religious, social, and educational reformer, and humanitarian. He challenged the traditional Hindu culture in the early 1800's. He founded the Brahmo Samaj and campaign against 'Sati', the Hindu funeral practice in which the widow immolated herself on her husband's funeral pyre.
He was known as "Father of Modern India" and also regarded as the "Father of the Bengal Renaissance".

Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Founder of Arya Samaj

Swami Dayanand Saraswati was an important Hindu spiritual leader and social reformer of the 19th century. He was the founder of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement of the Vedic tradition. He published a number of religious books such as Satyartha Prakash, Bhasya-Bhoomika and Sanskar Vidhi.

Swami Vivekanand

Founder of Rama Krishna Mission

His real name was Narendranath Datta. He was the disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

Founder of Young Bengal Movement

He was an Indian poet and assistant headmaster of Hindu College, Kolkata. He was one of the first Indian educators to disseminate Western learning and science among the young men of Bengal.

Gopal Hari Deshmukh

Started monthly magazine Lokhitwadi

He was a social reformer from Maharashtra, India. He promoted emancipation and education of women, and wrote against child marriages, dowry system and polygamy.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Founder of Servants of India Society

He was one of the founding social and political leaders during the Indian Independence Movement against the British Empire in India. He was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. He not only promoted primarily independence from the British Empire but also social reforms.

K M Munshi

Founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an educational trust, in 1938

He was an Indian independence movement activist, politician, writer from Gujarat. He was a lawyer by profession but later he turned to literature and politics. He served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh from 1952 to 1957.

Acharya Vinobha Bhave

Founder of Sarvodya Movement, Bhoodan Movement

He was a supporter of non-violence and human rights. He was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1958.

Sunderlal Bahugana

Started Chipko Movement

He was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of Non-violence and Satyagraha and a social reformer. He starter Chipko movement for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas. He was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, in 2009.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan

Founder of Servants of God or Khudai Khidmatgar

He was a political, spiritual and social leader known for his non-violent opposition to the British Rule. He was also known as Frontier Gandhi. In 1987, he became the first non-Indian to be awarded Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.

Dadabhai Naoroji

Founder of Gyan Prasarak Mandali

He was an Indian political and social leader. He was also known as the Grand Old Man of India. He was a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, United Kingdom between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP. His book 'Poverty and Un-British Rule in India' brought attention to the draining of India's wealth into Britain.

Madam H P Blavatsky

Founder of Theosophical Society

She was an Ukrainian occultist. In 1875, Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge established a research and publishing institute called the Theosophical Society.

Mother Teresa

Founder of Missionaries of Charity

She was a Roman Catholic Religious Sister, social reformer and missionary of Albanian origin who lived for most of her life in India serving the poorest of the poor. For her social service she was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1979.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant

Founder of Home Rule Movements

The All India Home Rule League was a national political organization founded in 1916 to lead the national demand for self-government, termed Home Rule, and to obtain the status of a Dominion within the British Empire as enjoyed by Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Newfoundland at that time. In 1916, Annie Besant launched the All India Home Rule League along with Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Medha Patkar

Started Narmada Bachao Movement

She is an Indian social activist and social reformer turned politician. She is the founder member of Narmada Bachao Andolan and was National Convener of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), an alliance of progressive people's organisations.

Atmaram Pandurang

Founder of Prarthana Samaj

Prarthana Samaj critically examined the relations between contemporary social and cultural systems and religious beliefs and gave priority to social reform as compared with the political changes already initiated by the British government.

Jyotiba Phule

Founder of Satya Sodhak Samaj

He was an Indian activist, thinker, social reformer, writer and theologist from Maharashtra. He founded the Satya Shodhak Samaj with the main objective of liberating the Bahujans, Shudras and Ati-Shudras and protecting them from exploitation and atrocities.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

Started Aligarh Movement

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was an Anglo-Indian, Muslim philosopher, pragmatist and social activist of 19th century India. He founded the famous Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 1875.

J H Dunant

Founder of Red Cross

In 1901, Dunant was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in founding the International Red Cross Movement and initiating the Geneva Convention.

Robert Baden Powell

Founder of Scouts

He was a lieutenant-general in the British Army. He was a writer and founder of the Scout Movement.

Lady Agnes Baden Powell

Founder of Guides

She was the wife of Robert Baden Powell. She became Chief Guide for Britain in 1918 and was elected World Chief Guide in 1930.

Peter Benenson

Founder of Amnesty International

He was a British lawyer and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International.

Melvin Jones

Founder of Lions Club

He was a Chicago businessman. He founded the Lions Clubs International in the year 1917 to take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.

Alfred Nobel

Founder of Nobel Prize

He was a Swedish chemist, engineer and innovator. He was the inventor of dynamite. His fortune was used posthumously to institute the Nobel Prizes and was awarded every year to persons making significant achievement in different fields such as Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo (Norway), while the other prizes are awarded in Stockholm (Sweden).

Objective Questions on Famous Social Reformers of India/World frequently asked in SSC, CDS, NDA, PSC, Railways and other competitive examinations-
1. Match the following famous Social Reformers of India/World with their contributions?
Social Reformers of India/WorldContribution
A. Lala Lajpat Rai1. Servants of India Society
B. Mother Teresa2. Founder of Nobel Prize
C. J H Dunant3. Founder of Missionaries of Charity
D. Alfred Nobel4. Founder of Red Cross
(a) A-4, B-2, C-3, D-1
(b) A-3, B-1, C-2, D-4
(c) A-1, B-3, C-4, D-2
(d) A-4, B-1, C-2, D-3

2. Match the following famous Social Reformers of India/World with their contributions?
Social Reformers of India/WorldContribution
A. Raja Ram Mohan Roy1. Founder of Servants of India Society
B. Vivekanand2. Founder of Rama Krishna Mission
C. Jyotiba Phule3. Founder of Satya Sodhak Samaj
D. Gopal Krishna Gokhale4. Founder of Brahmo Samaj
(a) A-4, B-2, C-3, D-1
(b) A-3, B-1, C-2, D-4
(c) A-2, B-3, C-1, D-4
(d) A-4, B-1, C-2, D-3

Answers - 1(c) and 2(a).