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Laxman  Maruti Gaikwad, hailing from Latur district of Maharashtra, is one of the most prominent names in Marathi literature. His best known work, The Branded, the English translation of his autobiographical novel Uchalaya is considered to be a masterpiece in Marathi literature. This novel brought him several international and national recognitions including Mahashtra Gaurav Puraskar and Sahitya Akademi award. The work for the first time brought to the world of letters the trials and tribulations of his tribe, Uchalya which means pilferers. The term was coined by the British, classifying them as a criminal tribe.

Laxman’s other notable novels include Dubang, Chini Mathachi Divas, Samaj Sahitya Ani Swathantra, Wadar Vedna, Vakila Pardhi, Utav and A Swathantra Konasat. He has also won several awards, including the Sahitya Ratna, Anna Bahu Sathe Puraskar, Saarc Literary Award, Saarc Writers’ Award, Maharashtra Foundation Award, Limca Book Award, and Gunther Sontheimer Memorial Award.

Gaikwad is also active in  social services. Since 1986, he was the president of the Jankalyan Vikas Sanstha and since 1990, he has been the president of the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Organization, an organization associated with the welfare of Tribes. He was also the member of National Human Rights Commission.

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