“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
-John Quincy Adams
Popatrao Baguji Pawar –An ordinary man with extraordinary determination
A messiah of the people of Hiware Bazar, Popatrao Bajugi Pawar traversed a long and checkered path in making his village an ‘Adarsh gaon’, a unique model based on the twin principles of self governance and self reliance.
Popatrao Baguji Pawar left Hiware Bazar as a teenager to pursue higher education in the city of Ahmadnagar. He completed his Masters’ degree in Commerce from the New Arts and Science College, Ahmednagar University. Apart from academics, he also dabbled in many extra – curricular activities. He was an avid sportsman and participated in both state national level Cricket tournaments.
Inspired greatly by the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Jayprakash Narayan, Anna Hazare, Vinoba Bhave and Baba Amte, he was driven by a deep desire to save his village from desolation and isolation. He returned to his village on the insistence of his friends and family members where he embarked upon a comprehensive development program.
Thus begun the journey of this young determined leader who worked tirelessly for the prosperity of his village.
He was elected unanimously as sarpanch of the village panchayat in 1990, following which he convened a gram sabha which had been conspicuous by its absence for many years. Key issues were identified and prevalent socio – economic problems were addressed in this annual village panchayat meeting. He was instrumental in the formation of the Yashwant Agriculture and Water Deployment Trust and in its integration with the state level developmental program, the Adarsh Gram Yojana (AGY).
Since then, there has been no looking back for this dynamic and suave leader whose has to a phenomenal extent fulfilled the dreams and aspirations of his people. Today, he is a role model for all the panchayat leaders of the state of Maharashtra. He is also associated with important national and state level committees: he is the Chairman of the Samrudh Goan Sakalpa va Prakalp Samiti (Govt. of Maharashtra), a member of the Employment Guarantee Punarvilokan Committee, (Govt. of Maharashtra), a member of the Information Rights Board, Nashik region, a member of the Watershed Committee (Govt. of Maharashtra), a member of the Watershed Executive Committee (Govt. of Maharashtra), a member, EGS Committee (Govt. of Maharashtra), a member of the Planning Commission (Govt. of Maharashtra), a member of the Jalswarajya project, Maharashtra state, a member of the NSS Committee, Govt. of Maharashtra, a member of CAPART, Govt. of India, an Expert Guide, Rural Development Committee, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. (put these in bullet points if u like)
He has won numerous honours and awards like the Ideal Village & Best leader Award-1998, Sahyadri Bhushan Award-2001, Comrade Sahane Master Award-2002, Adarsh Sarpanch State level Award-2002 , Maharashtra Foundation Award (America)-2004 , Mahavir & Mahatma Award-2005 and Phule-Ambedkar Award-2005, to name a few.