In January 2013, Mr. Abhijit Pawar, Managing Director, Sakal Media Group (SMG), deployed reporters across the state of Maharashtra to unleash the transformative power of women. Backing women-to-women networks with the power of the media, the Tanishka Foundation (Tanishka Stree Prathishtha Abhiyan) empowers women to be catalysts of change and improvement in their villages and society.
This effort began with 1,500 members of female-only forums, and today the Tanishka Foundation has grown to 45,000 active members and 50,000 volunteers. These numbers are growing beyond the 95,000 women committed to improving their communities through shared effort and self-empowerment.
At the heart of the Tanishka Foundation, women form groups and come together in an open format to discuss issues affecting their lives; and to find and implement solutions to those problems. Representing all 35 districts and 290 talukas (subdivisions) of Maharashtra, these forums tackle issues ranging from healthcare to land ownership rights, to personal safety, sanitation, access to clean water, barriers to employment and much more.
The Sakal Media Group (SMG) and its Sakal Social Foundation (SSF) run on the philosophy that media is a medium of societal transformation. Mr. Pratap Pawar having served on the Sakal board for nearly three decades, instilled in his son the importance of giving back to the society. As the Managing Director of Sakal, Mr. Pawar has taken this idea to heart.
He explains, “A seed, nurtured by my father, has turned into a tree bearing fruits which is being shared with the society. We believe that Sakal belongs to society; and while running it one should not think of only making a profit or loss, but how much we can give back.”
Today SMG is recognized as the 11th largest donor company in India, and the largest donor company in the Indian media sector. They give back a minimum of 30 percent of their profits to the community.
Mr. Pawar has personally developed and launched numerous non-political social change initiatives. These initiatives focus on education, empowerment and socio-economic transformation; including the Tanishka Foundation.
He brings innovation, business acumen and passion to everything he does. Recognized as an impactful social leader, he has been asked by all major Indian political parties to campaign in the general elections as their candidate; but he has declined to do so. It is the opportunity to affect social transformation outside of politics and beyond personal success that he takes as his calling.
“My remaining life will be dedicated to society, preferably outside the public political realm,” says Mr. Pawar. “I receive great peace of mind due to the various social activities undertaken through SMG.”
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