About 'The Nirgudkars'

Shree Ganeshaya Namah... A man on a mission

To be very honest, the ‘About The Nirgudkars’ column can begin right from 1240AD, such is the interesting history of Nirgudkars as found and compiled by Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar in his book ‘Anahat Yatra’. However, here you will find ‘About The Nirgudkars’ their mission of Recycling Goodness which got its proper form with the beginning of ‘Nirgudkar Foundation’ commencing its full fledged activities from the year 1976.

Late Shri Ganesh alias Rajabhau Nirgudkar

रात्री सुखाची झोप येण्यासाठी अशी काळजी घ्या की, दिवसभरात असं एकही कृत्य हातून घडू देऊ नका, ज्याची बोच लागेल. तुमचं मन तुम्हाला जाब विचारत राहील. (To get a sound sleep at night, take care that in the whole day, you should not do any such deed, which shall keep you awake the whole night.) – Rajabhau Nirgudkar.

Rajabhau was a disciplinarian. The hardships that he faced in his early childhood day, the adversities in life made him only stronger. He wanted his children to grow in a disciplined manner, help the needy. It was the one thousand rupees that Rajabhau gave Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar which paved the way for Nirgudkar Foundation in 1976. Till this day, Nirgudkar Foundation has adhered to the vow of serving people.
Rajabhau was a farsighted man, spiritual in nature. He read the ‘Dasbodh’. He was a good Pakhwaj player and also sung Bhajans, Abhangas, Devotional Songs. Rajabhau braved the many hardships in his life and worked hard so that he could support his own family and fund the students who lived with them.
During the Second World War, Rajabhau served in the army, later he worked in the Post Office and subsequently retired from Sales Tax. It was his wish to restore the legacy of the Tulapur Temple, which Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar completed.

Late Smt Leelatai Nirgudkar

‘Matru Devo Bhava’ meaning Mother is God. And truly, Leelatai and Rajabhau Nirgudkar are the roots of this beautiful tree ‘Nirgudkar Foundation.’ Leelatai’s staunch support of Rajabhau’s  life to serve the human race, was also imbibed by their son, Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar and his wife Sau. Charusheela and Shree Anil Nirgudkar and his wife Sau. Pratibha.

Leelatai was a pious woman. Spirituality was in her blood and so was an emotional bond to serve the society.
She was married to Shree Rajabhau Nirgudkar and both of them lived a simple yet fulfilling life. However, both had a strong urge to serve the society and that is how people suffering from cancer were given an affectionate home in the small abode at Dadar with one relative. They also supported students by accommodating them in their house and support their education  irrespective of their own poor financial conditions.

Leelatai was known as ‘Mother Annapoorna’ for the Indian Citizens staying in Florida since she served everyone with love and affection. In the United States, it is a practice that friends meet once in a month. During her brief stay in Florida, she would hold Satsangs (Spiritual Discourses) at these meetings which were attended by American couples too. She always abided by the ethics, ‘मुखी राम आणि हाती काम’ means Even while chanting the name of Ram, you should work. Age has been never something that refrained Leelatai from doing what she always liked. Leelatai participated in the Raigad Pradakshina event, walking around a 15kms stretch of Fort Raigad at the age of 80.
Her positive attitude, love for all and a simple yet motivating life still inspires many.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar

‘It is not how much I earn that matters, but how much I donate is important to me’- Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar is a man on a mission which he calls ‘Recycling Goodness’. One can call him a social entrepreneur just by looking at his career span with over forty years of dedicated service to the society. The term Corporate Social Responsibility has been abided by to the fullest by Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar who encouraged Education, Arts, Music and Culture in the rural areas, restored the lost legacy of the ancient Tulapur Temple, beautified its surroundings making it a place of historical, spiritual and tourist importance. He held many positions on different social panels like the Shree Ashtavinayak Suvidha Prakalp (Shree Ashtavinayak Facilitation Programme) which provided basic facilities of accommodation, sanitation, drinking water facilities to the pilgrims. Donations, sponsorships, scholarships, funding at least 4 cancer patients per year, arranging art and music events in rural areas, encouraging the youth by holding free seminars, de-addiction drives, competitions, sports events has been the dedicated effort of Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar and his family over the years.
He is a simple family man and his wife Charusheela, children Mandar and Manjiri’s strong support for his ‘Recycling Goodness’ has only added to his determination of working for the society.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar is an avid reader, traveller and a writer. His study on Samarth Ramdas’s Dasbodh and connecting it to the modern business world is an excellent book for today’s management people. He has written more than five books, all of them well received and appreciated by the readers. His book, ‘Ek Asto Builder’ is in its fifteen edition. His articles on various topics appear in leading newspapers and magazines.
The Nirgudkar Group of Companies comprise of Nirgudkar Constructions, Nirgudkar Farms, Nirgudkar Foundation.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar has won numerous awards and the most prestigious award that he won was the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, London, for valuable contribution to the arts in rural India and education and health care in 2003.
With his quest for searching the roots of the Nirgudkar Family, he has written ‘Anahat Yatra’ were he has compiled more than 800 years of the Nirgudkar clan. He appeals to all those Nirgudkars around the world to get in touch with him and add into this rich history.

Smt Charusheela Sudhir Nirgudkar

‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’, but Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar says, ‘Behind my success there are two – My Mother Leelatai and my better half Charusheela. When the man is on a mission to serve the society, the woman has to be more stronger to not only encourage but herself support and participate in the noble cause. We find this strong woman in Charusheelatai. Born into the family of Ratnaparkhis in Nasik, Charusheelatai was brought up in a disciplinarian household. She is an entrepreneur with a vision and is constantly on her toes with new ventures and a Midas Touch, as each venture that she undertakes becomes successful. She is also a responsible mother whose children Mandar and Manjiri are brought up as humble individuals.
Charusheelatai started a catering unit with her mother-in-law Leelatai, who always believed that woman should be self-independent. The catering business flourished with their combined and dedicated efforts. This passion of over 25 years is now being compiled into a recipe book Varsa Chavincha’ (The legacy of Flavours/Tastes) releasing this August.

Charusheelatai was also in charge of the canteen at Indian Education Society’s Architect and Management College and Hostel for some years.

Her unfathomable support to Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar and Nirgudkar Foundation is exemplary. Charusheelatai started a hotel to serve pilgrims near the Tulapur temple, she travelled miles with Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar, for almost 14 years during his quest for searching the roots of the Nirgudkars and helped him compile ‘Anahat Yatra’. Her contribution to the successful venture ‘Nirgudkar Farms’ was applauded by the government of Andhra Pradesh who gave her the ‘Excellence in Agriculture Research and Export Development’ award. She was also awarded the ‘Mahila Jyoti Puraskar’ and for her contribution towards education and social awareness and was also conferred with the ‘Mother Teresa Excellence Award’.
Charusheelatai is a living example of a woman making a self-identity and also giving equal justice to her family and business.’

Mandar Sudhir Nirgudkar and Priyanka Mandar Nirgudkar

Mandar is a soul searcher and a thinker. He believes that to all the questions in life, the answer you find is inside your soul. Currently, he handles the Nirgudkar Constructions business.
An avid reader, Mandar is also a very good poet. He has a great sense of humour, in fact, his poems reflect how he blends humour with life. ‘Mandar and Manjiri’s poems’ a book probably the first of its kind where a brother and sister’s poems are written in three languages (Marathi, Hindi and English) and published in one single book. The book received lots of appreciation from the readers. His poems reflect the way he looks at life.
Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar had a diamond cutting and diamond factory. However, he could not take this dream project further due to the extremely demanding commitments from his priority ventures. However, destiny wanted him to keep his passion for diamonds ignited. This became possible when his daughter-in-law Priyanka came.
Priyanka, Mandar’s better half is an energetic go getter. Born into the family of Nagarkar’s Priyanka handles the Diamondsandmore business of Nirgudkar group of companies. With her keen eye for aesthetic and exclusive jewellery and a penchant for gems, she has won the hearts of many of her esteemed clients who vouch for the jewellery that she provides.
Both Mandar and Priyanka are blessed with a lovely son, Veer.

Manjiri Nirgudkar

The silent, coy Manjiri heads the Digital Marketing department at Veena’s World. She also is a writer by heart and her one-liners and poems are well appreciated by everyone. Manjiri is extremely creative and at a very young age, has a different yet positive perspective of looking at the world. Her ethical values, principles and her approach to life are appreciable at such a young age. The famous poet Mangesh Padgaonkar also applauded her for the simple yet thought provoking poems in ‘Mandar and Manjiri’s poems’ book.