Savitribai Phule Pune University on Monday celebrated its 71st foundation day and felicitated stalwarts in different fields with lifetime achievement awards.
“During our childhood, my five siblings and I heard a lot of taunts from people when we were roaming on Laxmi Road like orphans. In the same city, I have now been called as the chief guest for Savitribai Phule Pune University’s lifetime achievement awards ceremony and all my siblings have been conferred with Padma awards by the Indian government. In any circumstance, do not lose hope or get scared, keep working hard. These are the values taught by Latadidi (Mangeshkar),” said renowned musician and singer Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar.
Social activist Girish Prabhune, former vice-chancellor of SPPU and economist Narendra Jadhav, farmer and conservationist Rahibai Popere, who is also known as the ‘Seed Mother of India’, Ahmednagar district’s Hirvebazar Sarpanch Popatrao Pawar, Pune-based advocate and president of Shikshan Prasarak Mandali S K Jain and Dr Vinod Shah were conferred with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.
Marathi actor Mukta Barve and theatre artist Dharmakirti Sumant received the ‘Yuva Gaurav Puraskar’.
“I have never been to school but my schooling has been in the nature’s bed and black soil. So, I have achieved so many awards. Like there are monetary banks in every village, it is necessary that we also establish seed banks in every taluka and village,” said Popere, who is from Akole village of Ahmednagar.
Prabhune recalled how he was in the past refused a degree certificate by SPPU (formerly known University of Pune) because of his involvement in student protests, and now the university has honoured him with this award.
“While I was working for the nomadic tribes, I realised that they have immense knowledge. By bringing them into school education, we are losing their traditional knowledge, moreover, many among them don’t even reach up to Class XII. ‘Punarutthan Samarasta Gurukulam’ education system has enabled these students to learn modern education, art and skills,” he said.
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