Peaceful Society (PS)’s original inspiration can be traced back through the movement for Total Revolution of J.P. Narayan in the late 1970’s to Gandhiji’s dream of a peaceful society, in the personal history of two key founder members, Kumar Kalanand Mani and Bharati Bandodkar. Kumar Kalanand Mani had a background of 9 years active full-time involvement in the Sarvodaya – Bhoodan Movement in Bihar and then as a fully committed participant in the JP movement and the Chhatra Sangharsha Samiti from 1974. This commitment was strengthened during the emergency when he was one of the countless youth who was arrested and after his release went underground to keep the spirit of freedom alive in the country. After the emergency he was put in charge of the national secretariat of JP’s youth wing “ Chhatra Yuva Sangharsha Vahini”. He left Bihar in Sep. 1979 with the aim to make the whole country his experimental ground and landed in a “Kishore Bharati” a organisation propagating science education in rural areas of Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh. While with the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsha Vahini, he met Ms. Bharati Bandodkar during a national camp held in Goa in August 1978. Later as part of social commitment towards casteless society, he married Bharati in January 1980.

Impressed by the still pristine environment, both natural and social, and with the inspiration from senior Sarvodaya leaders, he decided to make Goa his new home and a base of his operation and experiment (Karmasthal). Initially for few months he worked as a full-time activist for the Goa Sarvodaya Mandal. During this time, he tried to enter fully into the culture and life of Goa, looking to see how the principles of Gandhi’s vision of a society based on ‘mutual understanding, cooperation and collective efforts ’ could be realized in Goa.

Soon he had a cadre of like-minded youth supported by a group of older citizens to form a development group, which would present “the Gandhian model of ideal life and environment before the people” of Goa. The goal was “the improvement of the living conditions of the rural people and development of agriculture and agro based allied industries”. The principal strategy was to awaken the social spirit by making the people aware of their rights and duties, leading to the removal of “poverty, inequality, exploitation, injustice, illiteracy, and blind-faith, ecological and economical imbalance”.

The First Steps

Peaceful Society was established in 1983 while the formalities of legal registration were completed in March 1983. The Goan stalwart Late Mr. Madhav Bir was its founder president and Kumar Kalanand Mani was founder Secretary.  Bharati Bandodkar took charge of coordinator, Women Cell.

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The Current Executive Committee

Founders

1. Neela Apte
President.

2. Kumar Kalanand Mani
Executive Secretary.

3. Soter F. D’Souza
Treasurer.

4. Girish V Bhat
Member.

5. Shraddha Bharatiya
Member.

6. Chandran MP
Member.

7. Laxman Gaikwad
Member.

8. Pankajakshan L
Member.

9. Prabhakar Dhage
Member.

1. Kumar Kalanand Mani Joined Bhoodan movement in 1972-73 as member of Tarun Shanti Sena. Full time participants of Bihar movement, also known as JP movement (1974-77). Faced prison 5 times during the movement and while opposing emergency (June 1975 to February 1977). Was part of main team fighting against emergency in Bihar. In-charge, national office of Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Vahini (1977-78) formed by Jayprakash Narayan in April 1977. Moved to South India in later half of 1978 and Kishore Bharati, Madhya Pradesh in 1979-80. Married to a Goan colleague Bharati Bandodkar in Jan 1980. Shifted to wife’s home land Goa as place of his permanent work ( Karmasthal).

2. Bharati Bandodkar: joined the Sarvodaya movement in 1975 and had attended several programme, conferences in Goa and outside. Basically a trainer of handicrafts; Worked with Koshore Bharati along with Kalanand for brief time. Played key role in the formation of Peaceful Society in 1983.

3. Madhav Pai Bir: a towering personality in Goan social and political life, a prominent freedom fighter of Goa Liberation Movement, an intellectual & educationist of Gandhian orientation, political leader. Member of Goa, Daman & Diu assembly from 1977 to 1980. Played pivotal role in formation and strengthening Peaceful Society till his life.

4. Raju Bapu Talaunekar: a teacher and farmer by profession and an ardent social worker widely respected in Pedne Taluka. Twice contested election of state assembly. Founder treasurer of Peaceful Society from 1983 to 1988 and 1988 to 1991. Formed and established one educational institution in his village Deusu –Korgaon. Associated with many social and cultural organisation.

5. Parsuram Sahapurkar: played active role in the freedom struggle of India and Goa. Teacher by profession and ideologically a socialist.

6. Stephen Mathunyn: an educationist, served as teacher, headmaster in many educational institutions and promoter of rural crafts.

7. Suhas Thakurdesai: an educationist, teacher, and ideologically connected with Rashtra Seva Dal.

8. Ramnath G Naik: a banker, linguistic activist, writer and social thinker.

9. Manorai D Naik: linguistic activist and writer.

10. Damodar Prabhudesai: freedom fighter, farmers and expert in rural crafts.

11. Girish Bhat: a social worker.

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