Balasaheb Dhondiba Kolekar started his journey by working to promote a social change and play a critical role in developing society, improving communities, raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of the cause. In 1976 as he joined the GVS scheme of Mumbai University as a volunteer. He initially worked with an NGO, Rural Communes and then returned to his native place to initiate the development projects. He decided to work for the deprived community in Western Ghat and decided to convert his dream into reality, and that’s how Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal (SJSM) was established in 1980. He has more than 40 years of experience in the field of community development
Vitthal Dhakalu Kolekar is one of the founder members of SJSM. With an extensive experience of 40 years, he brings in his experience in natural resource management, inland fishing and community mobilization. He has been active at grass root level for community mobilization. Currently, Mr Kolekar is guiding the new team members for inland fishing.
Satish Desai is an arts graduate (BA) and was associated with SJSM since 1985 as a community mobiliser. He brings in his vast knowledge and training in cane and bamboo manufacturing to SJSM. Mr. Desai currently coordinates with the agricultural development project at SJSM. He has 37 years’ work experience in the field of rural development. He currently oversees the sustainable mango production, watershed development, agriculture development.
Ashok Page is a commerce graduate (B. Com) and joined SJSM in the 1980’s as a social worker, and is now the Director on the board. He is an expert in management of cooperative society, accounting and credit management. Mr Page looks after the financial management of SJSM.
Ramchandra Akhade is an arts graduate (BA) and joined SJSM in 1980s as a Social Worker, and is now a director here. He is an expert in credit management and finance. Mr. Akhade also possesses good coordination skills. Mr Akhade has been with SJSM through different phases of the organization; he currently coordinates SJSM’s work in Raigad district.
Aruna Ashtekar is a Social Development Consultant and Counsellor for the past 35 years , and works as a Director at SJSM. She has deep knowledge of non-profit landscape in India and the capacity building needs of NGOs, specifically rural based organizations involved in women and child development, gender issues and livelihoods. Her expertise includes draft project proposals, concept papers development and report writing in accordance with donor guidelines and organizations’ procedures. She designs curriculum and training modules for capacity building workshops for women and adolescents. She prepares pictorial and illustration evaluation charts, booklets as training aids for the organization. She has experience in administration and management of child centered institutions. Ms Ashtekar is also experienced at counselling and is able to offer psychological support to mentally and physically challenged individuals.
Manisha Varak has completed her Masters in Social Work. She has been associated with SJSM since 2009 and has been working on the tribal development projects and her special focus is on woman empowerment, livelihood and education. Currently Ms Varak is a Part-time Consultant for SJSM’s tribal development projects.