President of India Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Punyabhushan Award on Pratap Pawar, Chairman of Sakal Media Group, on Friday.
The award is constituted by Tridal, Pune and is given to Puneites who have contributed significantly to different fields. The award was presented at a function held at Balgandharva Rangmandir in Pune.
Stating that he had read Pratap Pawar's book 'My Journey', Mukherjee said it was a fascinating journey of the man who was dedicated and committed since his childhood. He stated that under Pawar's leadership Sakal Media Group had been playing an important role in forming public opinion in this part (Maharashtra) of the country.
Pratap Pawar stated that great things are achieved when society comes together and appealed to the people to support public interest initiatives.
Governor of Maharashtra C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, former union minister Sharad Pawar, Guardian Minister Girish Bapat were among the dignitaries present. Padma Shri, Pratap Pawar, Chairman, Sakal Media Group has had an eventful career.
Starting from a small village school in Baramati, Pawar completed his engineering degree from the prestigious, Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani.
Like everyone else, Pawar also worked hard to find his place in life. But even during his initial years of struggle, he gave thought to the world around him.
Before he became known as an industrialist, during his days of struggle, he volunteered to work for institutions that helped rural students and orphans.
Lessons of not being self-centred and helping others were taught by his mother early in life. Therefore, after taking up the reins of the Sakal Group he tried to use media in a proactive manner, for the benefit of the society.
He has been associated with the cause of the physically challenged and visually challenged through organisations like the Pune Blind School and the Bal Kalyan Sanstha.
Pawar is also chairman of the ASK Chemicals Foundry Solutions India Pvt. Ltd and a director on the board of several companies like Bharat Forge, Finolex Cables, Kirloskar Oil Engines and Force Motors.
Pawar was also the President of The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture, Pune (MCCIA) and it was during his tenure that the MCCIA completed the project of the International Convention Centre (ICC). ICC today is one of the most prominent commercial complexes in Pune.
An extremely modest person, Pawar, after receiving the Padma Shri in 2014 said, “Thousands of people are working in organisations which I am associated with. I have been honoured due to their efforts. If the potential of the country is properly utilised, this country will progress. If every citizen does his duty, there is a bright future for the country.”