About Maharashtra Gandhi Smarak Nidhi
As after the martyrdom of Rashtrapita Mahatma Gandhi, prominent Gandhian leaders and social activists decided to keep Gandhiji alive in the form of ideology for the generations to come. In 1949 a committee was constituted to create a national trust called ‘Gandhi Smarak Nidhi’. Great national leaders were included in it like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Shri Jagjivan Ram amongst many others. An appeal of these great leaders to people of India turns out in a huge collection of fund. The main purpose of the fund was to further the manifold constrictive activities, in which Gandhiji was interested, and to preserve and propagate his teachings. Work of Gandhi Smarak Nidhi started from various states of India.
About President Dr. Kumar Saptarshi
Dr. Kumar Saptarshi took over responsibility as the third President of MGS Nidhi on 16 December 2006. He had been working as a Secretary earlier. Dr. Saptarshi, a former MLA from Ahmednagar, has worked with stalwarts like Jai Prakash Narayan and incessantly worked for social reconstruction.
He is actively pursuing social issues like corruption and other for more than 23 years that has taken him to jail for over 40 times. He took up the relief work in Bihar famine.
Dr. Saptarshi is founder President of Yuvak Kranti Dal as well as Editor of Marathi monthly Satyagrahi Vichardhara. He has more than four books to his credit.
He is also a founder of Indian Social Development and Research Organisation that is based in rural parts of Ahmednagar. Spread over 30 acres of land the organization works in promoting rural development. Animal Husbandary practices like fishery, goatery, sheep farming and sprinkler irrigation system are devised to support rural economy. An educational institute is also set up for students from Class V to graduation. The organizational work effectively contributes in taking Gandhian values and principles to younger generations.
Accordingly ‘Maharashtra Gandhi Smarak Nidhi’ or MGS Nidhi was established. MGS Nidhi was registered in 1969 by Mamasaheb Devgirikar who also became the First President of this independent institution.To begin with the pressing issues and problems of that time were considered on priority and action was taken with the initiative of Mamasaheb Devgirikar. Thus Village Cleanliness Scheme was implemented with Zilla Parisdhad where the focus was on construction of modern toilets. Household toilets were builds as part of campaign for Bhangi Mukti, the eradication of manual scavenging.Even today MGS Nidhi is actively promoting rural development. It is part of Nirmal Gram Swachhchata Abhiyan – the Total Sanitation Campaign – run by the State.
Gradually two more branches of MGS Nidhi were set up, one each in Nagpur and Aurangabad.
Mamasaheb Devgirikar passed away on 27 July 1975.
Balasaheb Bharade took over as the Second President of MGS Nidhi.
Balasaheb Bharade, who had already worked as a Minister and Speaker of State Assembly, has also led several social welfare organizations like Khadi Gramodhyog, Harijan Seva Sangh and alcohol prohibition, among others.
During his tenure as a President he emphasized working on rural development.
MGS Nidhi is a pioneer in developing and promoting Bio Gas Plants. It has constructed over one lakh toilets, twenty thousand bio-gas plants and smokeless chulhas in various villages in the state. With a purpose to build social integration, Balasaheb Bharade organized many meetings and seminars propagating Gandhian ideology and values. He focussed on promoting cottage industries and also developed an industrial estate to encourage small scale entrepreneurs. Balasaheb Bharade passed away on 22 November 2006.