Recycling Goodness


Inspiring and motivating students has constantly been the priority of Nirgudkars.

Late Shri Ganesh alias Rajabhau Nirgudkar completed his matriculation, but he could not study further due to the extreme financial conditions and his father compelled him to work. Both Rajabhau and his wife, Late Smt Leelatai, emphasized on the education of their children and also encouraged those who wished to learn.

Rajabhau and Leelatai made it a point to accommodate at least one student, even though their own house was just one-half of a room. Rajabhau had braved many hardships in his life and worked hard so that he could support his own family and fund the students that came to his shelter. Their son, Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar, a civil engineer, took this morale of encouraging education from their parents’ and started providing funds for the education of children, especially those in the rural areas.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar provides financial assistance to rural schools for infrastructure facilities and student welfare under Nirgudkar Foundation. Till date, more than 18,000 students have benefitted from the financial help provided by Nirgudkar Foundation. They were also the first to organize special camps like Orthography in villages, which attracted a participation of 350 pupils and 65 teachers from 9 schools.

Schools in Phulgaon (Hari Uddhav Dhotre School), Panchgani, Pimple-Dhumal, Old Mahabaleshwar, Shikrapur - are aided by Nirgudkar Foundation along with Shrutisagar Ashram, Phulgaon.


History and Culture

The Nirgudkars have a historical background. Late Shri Marutrao Hanumantrao Nirgudkar, an Ayurveda exponent of his time treated Jijabai at the time of her delivery. (A healthy child Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle was born to Jijabai). Shri Marutrai Hanumantrao Nirgudkar was rewarded by Shahajiraje Bhosle for his medical services. (Ref: Indian Express, 03rd July 2001)

Nirgudkars are also closely associated with veteran historian Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare who firmly believes that, ‘The life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosle has a tremendous potential to give positive and focused direction to the thought process of today’s youth.’ Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare also mentions the history of Nirgudkars in his speeches, when narrating the history of the birth of Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle.  

Keeping their great historical background in mind, the Nirgudkars started with ‘Raigad Pradakshina’ (going around the fort – a 15kms stretch through the dense forest). It was a free service. They also allocated guides en route for the visitors. It was an effort for invoking interest, particularly among the youth, developing their respect for history and to instill the values of the Legendary Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle and imbibe national pride! The movement was taken up by the Nirgudkars since 1980 and it completed 25 years in 2004. To commemorate this occasion, many renowned historians like Shree. Vishwas Patil participated in this campaign and shared historical details of the Shivshahi era. Participants from many schools, colleges, senior citizens joined in and were awarded certificates by Nirgudkar Foundation.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar in his conquest for searching the roots of the Nirgudkars travelled to almost all the parts of India from where he could find information about their family history and collected a data of more than 800 years (from or 1240AD) which has been compiled together in a book titled ‘Anahat Yatra’.

Nirgudkar Foundation has been supporting the noble spiritual cause of His Holiness Swami Swaroopanand of the Shrutisagar Ashram, Phulgaon. The Bhagvad Gita as recited by Lord Krishna lays down valuable principles which are applicable to mankind throughout the ages. His Holiness Swami Swaroopanand of the Phulgaon Shrutisagar Ashram interpreted the Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, the first volume of which was released by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Shree Vidyashankar Bharati of Karveer Peeth on 07th February 1994. Touching upon the contemporary preoccupation with and priority accorded to science and logic, the Swami believed that his interpretation of the Gita as capable of coming to terms with even queries of the scientific and objective mind.

Art & Music

Nirgudkars are passionate lovers of art & music and have immense respect and value for it. Rajabhau Nirgudkar was an exponential Pakhwaj player. He also played the Harmonium, Mrudang and had an immense liking for devotional songs, Abhang, Poet Bahinabai’s poems, Natyasangeet. The Nirgudkars held many musical concerts at their own home and revered artists in the music world performed in this abode.

Nirgudkar Foundation has pioneered some of the best events in Arts and Music where Legends like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasiya, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Dr Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, Pandit Bhavani Shankar, Pandit Ganpati Bhat, Pandita Aarti Anklikar Tikekar, Pandita Suchita Bhide Chafekar, Maharashtra Shahir Krishnarao Sable, Shri Charudatt Afale, Pandit Prabhakar Karekar performed. The uniqueness behind all these events was they were performed in front of a rural audience in villages to promote Indian Music and Art. This definitely had a profound effect as many of the rural folks came forward, eager to learn our rich Indian music and promote it around the world. Many new artists were born and brought to limelight by these events.

We often hear that, ‘Music has no boundaries’ and this was effectively demonstrated when the Nirgudkars took along legendary singers to the United States of America and organized classical music concerts. The accommodation for these artists and all the necessary care was looked after with motherly affection by Smt. Leelatai Nirgudkar. On the insistence of the Nirgudkars, The University of Florida gave permission to perform Indian Art and Cultural programs in The United States of America.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar’s elder brother Shree Anil Nirgudkar and his wife Sau. Pratibha Nirgudkar hold the flag high of Nirgudkar Foundation’s ‘Recycling Goodness’ in America. They have started the Pandit Jasraj Music Academy there. Anil’s daughter Aarti is not only active in handling the music school, but also organizes various concerts in the USA.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar contributed to the Installation of Pandit Ganpati Bhat’s Gurukul in Hasangi, a village in Karnataka, 80 kms away from Hubli. The legendary singer Dr Smt. Gangubai Hangal who inaugurated the Gurukul, blessed the Nirgudkars for their selfless and pious deed.


Swar Mandar: A Musical Venture

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar’s musical venture ‘Swar Mandar Music Company  came up with their first devotional musical cassette ‘Namo Ganapati’ in the year 2001. The songs are written by late  Jyotirbhaskar Jayant Salgaonkar and Poet Shantaram Nandgaonkar. Sung by maestro Pandit Sanjiv Abhyankar this cassette was publicly released by the then ex-mayor of Mumbai Shree Hareshwar Patil.
Swar Mandar also came up Monsoon Melodies and Shankara Nateswara sung by Pandit Ganpati Bhat. These cassettes were released by honourable Gansaraswati Kishori Amonkar and Pandit C R Vyas.
One more devotional album ‘He Shiv Shankar’, written by Poet Pravin Davne, sung by Shree Suresh Wadkar and music organised by Shree Prabhakar Pandit won the hearts of the masses.

Nirgudkar Foundation  also patronized the Folk Art of Maharashtra, which was diminishing at an alarming rate. They formed associations with the various folk artist organizations, leading newspapers and organized events to keep Maharashtra’s traditional Folk art alive. Folk Art Expert and current Dean of the Lokkala Academy (Folk Art Academy) of University of Mumbai, Dr Prakash Khandge was one of the members in organizing committee of all these ‘Lokotsav’ events held in association with Nirgudkar Foundation. The many local art forms included Potraj, Gondhal, Kirtan, Powade, Waghya-Murli, Dashavatar, Shahiri, Lavni. The annual ‘Tulapur Mahotsav’ featured these art forms and brought to light many talented folk artists.  

Nirgudkar Foundation also co-sponsored State Level One Act Play competition in 2002 with Kalnirnay, Theatre Academy and Loksatta a leading Marathi daily. This competition was unique as it was the first time a one-act play competition was held with original scripts and groups from all over Maharashtra.


The small Nirgudkar abode (almost one half of a small room), very close to the centrally located Dadar Station in Mumbai, always housed one cancer patient with their relative. This had been a practice for years. Rajabhau and Leelatai took care of these patients till they were fit to go back to their own homes. The small house and the lone cot would always remain occupied with patients from various places coming for treatment in the hospitals of Mumbai. Leelatai served the patients with dedication. These patients, along with one student and the Nirgudkar family stayed in that small one-half room.

Dr Sudhir Nirgudkar has seen his parents and their inclination to serve those in need. This inclination was imbibed by Dr Sudhir and his brother Anil along with their spouses Charusheelatai and Pratibhatai respectively. The same virtue has been passed on to the new generation too.

Nirgudkar Foundation has conducted many medical camps, distributed free medicines, organized de-addiction drive for youth like Pratap Sanskar Sohala, provided funds to several hospitals, helped in the construction of sanitation facilities especially in rural schools, sponsored eye surgeries and  aided cancer patients. Nirgudkar Foundation extends financial and medical aid to at least four cancer patients in a year.

NOTE: Donations are given based on approval from the panel of members of the Nirgudkar Foundation.

For Nurturing the Responsible Youth of today!

Nirgudkar Foundation also held De-Addiction drive – Pratap Sanskar Sohala, Tulapur, in the year 2001. Around 2000 youth participated in this drive. This event was organized, keeping in mind, the increasing addiction of the youth to alcohol and drugs. It not only focused on De-Addiction but also gave importance towards enhancing the overall personality of today’s youth and making them strong physically and mentally. This De-Addiction drive was a huge success with a perfect program chalked out which included Suryanamaskar, Yoga, Malkhamb, Recitals of Dnyaneshwari, group discussions, debates, guidance lectures on several subjects, accompanied by spiritual discourses. Banda Maharaj Satarkar also gave guidance to the youth.
The unique features of this event along with a disciplined organizing finesse won the appreciation of veteran Social Worker Anna Hazare, Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare, Shree Rajiv Dikshit who visited the camp to encourage the youth.

Nirgudkar Foundation held these camps every year in the rural regions.