Sahyadri Navratna Puraskar 2002 Awardees

Swar Ratna - Shri Sudhir Phadke, the doyen of Marathi light music, is one of the most popular music directors and singers of our time. Born on 25 July, 1919, Shri Phadke had his initial training in vocal classical music from the late Shri Vamanrao Padhye in Kolhapur. Starting his career in 1941 with His Master's Voice, Phadke moved on to the Prabhat Film Company as music director in 1946. He has about 110 films to his credit as music director, 20 of which are Hindi films. He has received several awards for his music direction as well as singing during his illustrious career. His home production, Ha Maaza Marga Ekala has won the Rashtrapati award in 1963. A record creating achievement of his career is the music composition of the Geet Ramayana, rendered in lyrical form by the poet GD Madgulkar. 

Chitra Ratna - Smt Sulochana is a face well known to Maharashtrians the world over. Starting her career with Bhalji Pendharkar's Maharathi Karna in 1943, Sulochana has acted in over 150 Marathi films and over 250 Hindi films till date. So far, she has been honoured with the V Shantaram Puraskar of the Maharashtra government, and several awards from various organisations. Among the films she has starred in are Mith Bhakar, Chimni Pakhare, Jaya Bhavani, Jivacha Sakha and Bala jo jo re. 

Ratna Darpan - Shri DB Karnik is a name familiar to all Maharashtrians. He is credited with starting four publications in Maharashtra. The first of these was Dainik Sangram. He was instrumental, as founder editor, of turning the Maharashtra Times into a dynamic, people oriented newspaper. A disciple of the revolutionary MN Roy, he was jailed in Dhulia jail for participating in the Indian freedom struggle. 

Ratna Sharada - Smt Prema Purao is a name that spells succour for scores of destitute women in the state of Maharashtra. The founder of the Annapurna Mahila Mandal, she helped tap their talents and skills in which they excelled. Closely involved in the Goa freedom struggle and the Samyukta Maharastra Andolan, she was imprisoned while working as an active trade unionist for nine months in the 1960s. She started the Annapurna Mahila Mandal in 1973 with a group of 14 women with the help of loans from nationalised banks for generating self employment for women in the state. The Mandal's membership has today grown to over 200,000. She has been honoured with the Padmashree, the Baya Karve Award and Com Datta Deshmukh award, among others.

Natya Ratna - Shri Vijay Tendulkar ranks among the best playwrights this country has seen. Well known for plays like, Sakharam Binder, Kamala and Khamosh, Adalat Jari Hai, 1972 was a landmark year for Tendulkar as well as for Indian vernacular theatre - his Marathi play Ghashiram Kotwal made waves by its brilliant use of traditional folk forms in modern contemporary theatre. Born in 1928, Tendulkar started his literary life as a writer of short stories before moving on to write plays and film scripts. Tendulkar, who has written screen-plays for films like Manthan; Nishant, Ardh Satya and Aakrosh, was awarded the Pabmabhushan in 1984.

Seva Ratna - Shri Baba Amte and the cause of the downtrodden are almost synonymous in India today. Baba is a living legend of our time and a shining example of the Gandhian spirit and approach to current and compelling social problems of the country. By crusading for human dignity and sustainable development he has sought to arouse the inner vitality of our society and invest it with sanity, peace and compassion. Anandwan, which he set up for leprosy patients, provides, through a creative combination of medical intervention, rehabilitation and economic regeneration, self-esteem and self-reliance to leprosy affected people thus translating the ideal of Mahatma Gandhi to make the victims of leprosy "as much a part of society as the tallest among us". Starting with leprosy-affected people, Amte's work covered education in health and hygiene, village sanitation, village industries, communal unity and removal of untouchability and work among tribals and the youth of the country. He has introduced at Anandwan and other tribal areas rain-harvesting experiments for augmenting agricultural production. How he organized the youth of India in the "Knit India Movement" across the East and the West, the North and the South of the country, is a saga of our times. He has been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize, 1999, among several other awards.

Vaibhav Ratna - Shri Rahul Bajaj, apart from heading the Bajaj group of companies, has several accomplishments to his credit. A Harvard graduate, he has been the CEO of Bajaj Auto since 1968. Today, the company is India's premier two and three wheeler manufacturer. Bajaj Auto received Dalal Street Journal's Corporate Excellence Award for 1990 & 1995 (Rank I). In recognition of his contribution to the automotive industry, the Government of India appointed Bajaj as the Chairman of the Development Council for Automobiles and Allied Industries, 1975-77. Bajaj was Chairman of Indian Airlines between 1986-89. Bajaj was appointed by the Government of India as the Chairman of Technology Development Advisory Group on Technology Trends in Automobiles - August 1991. Bajaj was Chairman of the World Business Council of the World Economic Forum and continues to be its Member. Bajaj is a Member of the New York Stock Exchange's Asia Pacific Advisory Committee as well as a Member of the Asia Pacific Advisory Board of the Harvard Business School. FIE Foundation awarded Mr. Bajaj the Rashtrabhushan Award in 1996. Lokmanya Tilak Smarak Trust awarded Mr. Bajaj the Tilak Award in 2000. Government of India Conferred the Padma Bhushan to Mr. Bajaj in March 2001. He has done more than what the state of Maharashtra could have hoped for from a true son.

Ratna Saurabh - Shri Nandu Natekar is a name well known to all Maharashtrians, not just the badminton buff. One of the earliest awardees of the Arjuna Award in 1961, Natekar had the distinction of reaching the quarter finals in the men's singles in the All England Championships in 1954 in London, semi finals in the All American at Niagara Falls in 1980, 1981 and runner up in 1982. Several titles dot his illustrious badminton career. He has represented India at the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica in 1965, and has been honoured at the Jagatik Marathi Parishad in Mauritius in 1991. He was included among 'the Greats' in a souvenir published by Malaysia during the Thomas Cup series in 1954-55

Ratna Vahini Yogadaan - Doordarshan Sahyadri, the channel closest to the Marathi viewers, has retained its appeal, despite stiff competition from satellite channels that have mushroomed in the last few years. With programming designed to draw in the intellectual as well as the discerning viewer, its interactive shows and news programming have a huge following.

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