Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said organisations like Harijan Sevak Sangh are doing "yeoman service" and deserve a helping hand from philanthropists.
Naidu said this while laying foundation stone of the organisation's women's hostel named after Didi Nirmala Deshpande whom he praised as a Gandhian and a messanger of peace.
Sangh is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932 in then Madras (now Chennai) in Tamil Nadu.
"Didi Nirmala Deshpande, who headed the organisation till her last breath, was a dedicated Gandhian, who set an example for thousands of people not only in India but all over the globe," a government statement quoted Naidu as saying.
"She was a true messenger of peace and also strove for communal harmony," he added.
The hostel is planned to be completed by 2020 and will provide accommodation to more than 200 girls.
He also rededicated Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, named after the close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, and unveiled his "renovated" statue.