Hailing from Satara, Narendra Dabholkar passed out as a medical doctor from Miraj Medical College.
Before joining social work, he practised medicine for more than a decade. Dabholkar's elder brother was Gandhian and former Vice Chancellor of University of Pune, Devdatta Dabholkar.
Dabholkar was also the editor of Sadhana weekly, which was started by Sane Guruji. Initially, he was associated with social worker Baba Adhav's agitation of one village one well and Akhil Bhartiya Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ABANS), but later separated from it.
A crusader against all types of superstitions in society, he fought tooth and nail to bring the Anti-Jaadu Tona Bill (earlier anti-superstitions bill) in Maharashtra.
Certain sections of the Warkari sect opposed him for this. Dabholkar had recenty blamed Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan stating that he had betrayed all progressive people in the state.
“This could be the only bill which has figured in the list of business for last seven sessions, but has never come up for discussion," said Dabholkar urging the chief minister to ensure that the bill is passed this year itself.
For last 18 years Dr Narendra Dabholkar was fighting with Maharashtra state government to pass the anti superstition and black magic bill. He was demanding state government to pass the bill in the last state assembly's monsoon session.
There was a strong opposition from Hindu extremists organisations and Warkaris to the bill, but Dabholkar was determined to get the bill passed and he stated that he was not against anybody's faith, but was against superstition.
Dabholkar had recently started a campaign against Jat Panchayat and had held a workshop at Nashik against Jat Panchayat.
Dabholkar was also campaigning against immersion of idols in water bodies. He appealed to the devotees to immerse idols in water tanks rather than in rivers to protect the water bodies from being polluted.