ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Mr. Balasaheb Kolekar
Mr. Balasaheb Dondiba Kolekar born in poor, farming, shepherd community from a far flung isolated village ‘Dicholi’ in Koyna sanctuary in Patan block of Satara district in Maharashtra. His father was army subhedar. So he got opportunity of education in military hostel. In 1975, he completed his graduation from Rayat Shikshan Sanstha’s Sadguru Gadagemaharaj Mahavidyalaya, Karad and became first graduate from his community from Koyna region. After graduation he had decided not to take up any regular employment but to commit himself to work for the development of his people for the rest of his life. With this mission & to take the experience of rural development work he joined graduate voluntary scheme (GVS) of University of Bombay in 1976. After the training he worked for six months with Rural Communce - a voluntary organization in the field of rural development. In 1977, he returned to his native place ‘Koyna region’ to initiate development work with the initial assistance and support of rural communes and in 1980 he founded the organization ‘Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal’.
“Development programmes should be based on needs and experiences of the community. Common man must be at center when designing the development programme. The work constructed with this vision will lead to sharing of experiences and further new appropriate models of development will be created. Lets us hand over the responsibilities of development on their shoulders and make them stand on their own feet…… ” – Mr. Balasaheb Kolekar