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Padma Vibhushan Dr. Mohan Dharia, Founder of Vanarai, India.

Leaving a Legacy Behind

Revolutionary Freedom fighter, Policymaker, Social Reformer, Environmentalist, and a born leader. A life journey of inspiration, passion, and commitment to create an impact. A visionary with a Mission; popularly known as Anna.

He was born on 14th February 1925 in a small village with a population of 200 named ‘Nate’ in Raigad district, Maharashtra. At a very young age of 16, Dr. Mohan Dharia started his fight for Independence where he became the Chief of Sevadal at Mahad. When he turned 17, his actions and struggle for freedom landed him in Jail. During this sentence, his social outlook marked his journey towards selflessly serving the people and the Nation at Large.

Change agents face the most difficult circumstances; it was no different for him. To bring about a social change post Independence, he capitalized on the potential of Youth power. Dr. Mohan Dharia started taking positive steps towards addressing Inequality which was one of the most pressing issues during that era. While he was studying at ILS Law College, Pune University he started becoming the Union Leader of trade unions like; State Transport, Indian Postal services, and many more where he fought for the rights of Laborers. Which led to the foundation of the National Labor center of India by Dr. Mohan Dharia. During his practice in the honorable High Court of Bombay (Mumbai), he selflessly & continuously fought for the justice of the poor and underprivileged.

In order to address the dire situation post Independence, he realized that changes at Policy Levels Nationally are a must to bring about a change at a larger level. This marked the start of his political journey; from being a Corporator of Pune Municipal Corporation, member of Rajya Sabha, member of Lok sabha, central cabinet minister and eventually becoming the Vice-Chairman of Planning commission of India. He was a man of his words – Politics of Commitment. He quit as a Central Minister just before the National Emergency was declared in 1975 to save the Indian Democracy (the largest democracy in the world). Immediately he joined the movement to save the democracy of India due to which he had to serve 17 months of Jail sentence during the period of National Emergency.

He later became the Commerce Minister in which he played a pivotal role in reducing the prices of essential commodities; the lowest ever without affecting the producers. He took an initiative to bring the governments of all underdeveloped and developing countries together in order to stop the financial exploitation by developed countries in the International market.

While working at a National level, he envisaged the future problems of the Environment like degradation of the ecosystem, increasing population & Rural problems like drought, agricultural crisis, increasing poverty, unemployment & Migration. In order to address these increasing issues, he started a People’s Movement For Green India.

To create this participatory approach it was necessary to have one umbrella under which people come together towards working for the betterment of Rural India and collectively conserve the Environment. This led to the birth of “Vanarai” on 10th July 1986.