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Punjaji Khandare

Punjaji Khandare became Advocate of the Phule-Shahu-Ambedkarite philosophy at a very young age.  In 1990 PS (Popular by this name amongst his close friends) made very strong connection with “ Maharashtra Andha Shraddha Nirmoolan Samiti” initiated by Narendra Dabholkar to work on eradication of superstition, ill social beliefs, wrong customs and traditions & against controversial God men. Thus, Khandare started propagating this message in the society by addressing and opening the new horizons of scientific and rational thinking through lectures, different scientific experiments based on cause and effect theory to open the eyes of people.

He also got associated with National Dalit Movement for Social Justice (NDMJ) in Maharashtra to work on the issues of caste based discrimination against Dalits. He did survey of 42,000 people through NDMJ & his Organisation – “Nagarjuna Baudha Alpasankhyank Bahuuddeshiya Sevabhavi Sanstha” in the districts of Washim, Hingolo and Buldhana and organised Public hearing programs on “Invisible Drought situation in these 3 districts”. Through “Daksha” Banglore he also made a survey on “Access to Justice” on atrocities in Marathwada region. To know opinion on the “Governments efficiency of work” he took public interviews though out Marathwada region.

After facing severe humiliation and atrocities,  he came to know that he is not the only Dalit person who faces such inhuman treatment in Maharashtra. He experienced that there are many men and women like him who have been facing such injustice and discrimination. And then he started to attend Prevention of Atrocities act workshops, trainings, seminars, conferences on related issues organised by Manuski since 2011. Capacity Building of Individuals and NGO representatives, SCSP-TSP budget, RTI trainings, Vision Building workshop, and Human Rights based approaches to development, Voice and Accountability workshops were the key trainings he received in Manuski.

He later continued his journey, being a trained social worker by mobilizing aids to victims of Atrocities , deprived people of state and central Governments SCP Budget schemes.  Manuski found him as one of the very effective RTI workers for getting information on different Govt. schemes for Manuski through Right to information Act in Marathwada region. Through his “Nagarjuna Social Research Foundation” he raised voices of the oppressed and discriminated Dalits, NT-DNT and Adivasi’s by organizing public awareness programs through agitation, Dharna- andolan, hunger strikes, street plays, Posters, banners etc. He builds up pressure groups in his working area on the system of Governance and extended confidence and courage in field activists.

P.S.Khandare encountered with Manuski Trust in 2011 when he himself became the Caste Atrocity Victim by the hands of dominant political leader in Hingoli. He was kidnapped by the goons of a political leader and extremely abused physically and mentally to ruin his identity as a “Prabodhankar” in the eyes of masses. He was arrested by police due to political pressure and kept behind  bars for six months under false cases and charges lodged against him in the Police station. P.S.Khandare lodged police complaint against the perpetrators under “Prevention of Atrocity Act” and the goons were arrested. The hearing of this case is pending in the Court at present.

He was so depressed during that time that he says “he had committed suicide then if he would not have met “Manuski’s Staff” He says further “After trained in legal aspects of the “Prevention of Atrocity Act” I am so confident that I can stand for getting justice to victim anywhere in Maharashtra if any such case happens.” Manuski has given me this energy and inspiration to live life and serve the society. In Manuski I also learnt how to constraint my mind in the right direction to live my  life peacefully through Meditation techniques