Vasant Babaji Gangavane, the PGDM Batch 3 Gold Medallist of IIM Calcutta, hails from a tribal community in the erstwhile Ratnagiri district from the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra. His father was a first generation farmer and he was the first graduate engineer from the community. He graduated from IIT Bombay and was a Fellow of the Management and Behavioural Science Centre of Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
After returning from U. S. A. in 1972, Mr. Gangavane dedicated his life to Tribal Upliftment and Rural Development. He was awarded a Fellowship of Ashoka International for his work.
Mr. Gangavane is the President of Gokul Prakalp Pratishthan which contributes to rural development. As a member of the Steering Committee (Agri) for drafting 8th five year plan, he was instrumental in evolving National Watershed Development Programme. The work and experience of NGO’s demonstrated that watershed based participatory village planning with women empowerment and appropriate use of modern technology could solve employment problem in many villages. The Indian Initiative for the International Year of the Family convened by him advocated this twin strategy for which he travelled length and breadth of the country consulting NGOs all over and sent a resolution to the General Assembly of UN on behalf of more than 3500 voluntary agencies.
Mr. Gangavane has guided over four thousand Agro-Entrepreneurs in India for ten years and obtained relief for them through the Supreme Court of India. The voluntary agency “Gokul Prakalpa Pratishthan” promoted by him for Agriculture, Eco-Development and Water Conservation has been awarded the prestigious “Vasantrao Naik Puraskar” in 1992, the “Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra” award of Government of India in 1995, and Government of Maharashtra’s “Krishi Bhushan” award in 1996 among many other honours. The residential school which he had started for Nomadic Tribe children transformed the community. He is also the State Expert for implementation of Fourteenth Finance Commission recommendations for Panchayat Raj.
Vasant Babaji Gangavane receiving his award