Sriman Madhu Pandit Prabhu

Sriman Madhu Pandit Prabhu

Madhu Pandit Dasa (former name Madhusudan S) was born in 1956 in Trivandrum, India. As a pre-degree student, he was selected by the National Science Talent search program of the country. He completed his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT-Mumbai in the year 1980. During his days in IIT, he became interested in the books of Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON. While he was doing his M.Tech course in IIT-Mumbai in 1981, he dedicated himself to the service of humanity by becoming a full-time member of ISKCON.

He began to travel all over South India organizing programs to increase the awareness of ISKCON and its mission. Seeing his potential as a leader, he was soon made the President of ISKCON, Trivandrum. In 1983, he became involved in overseeing the activities of ISKCON, Bangalore along with his responsibilities in Trivandrum temple. At that time a small fledgling centre in a rented apartment in an inconspicuous neighborhood of the city. Under his leadership, soon the popularity and activities of ISKCON-Bangalore began to blossom. In 1988, the Government of Karnataka allotted 6.5 acres of a rocky abandoned hillock in the city to set up a cultural complex. Being dissatisfied with what the commissioned architects were proposing for the cultural complex, he took upon himself to design the complex according to what he had envisioned. Soon he also started organizing efforts to raise funds for the construction of the complex. The next ten years unfolded an unprecedented scale of development on the hillock, now called the Hare Krishna Hill: the design and construction of a colossal cultural complex, mobilization of support and fund raising to a tune of Rs. 38 crores (Rs.380 million or $ 9.5 million) and recruiting and training nearly 100 full-time dedicated members of ISKCON. The monumental Cultural Complex was inaugurated in 1997 by the then President of India Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma.

In 1994, he initiated an integrated social development project for the benefit of the rural people of Mysore and Mandya districts. A model, prototype organic farm based on natural and earth-friendly farming methods along with an internationally accredited farmer-training center has been setup in the 110-acre land on the banks of river Kaveri in Srirangapatam.

The primary purpose of this is to establish self-sufficient farming communities. The farming techniques employed are traditional and organic to promote pro-environmental agriculture. Hundreds of farmers are deriving inspiration to adopt environmental and soil friendly agricultural methods researched and disseminated scientifically from this model farm. Rural women are trained in this farm in the practices and methods of organic farming. This farm is also supporting hundreds of farmers during the transition from chemical to organic farms. Many neighboring farms have successfully converted into organic farms.

He initiated the Akshaya Patra program to provide mid-day meals to underprivileged children in the Government schools of Bangalore Rural District during July 2000.

A visionary organizational leader.

Madhu Pandit Das has demonstrated ability in building organizations of excellence in the non-profit sector and is held in high esteem for his contribution to the society in humanitarian, cultural and spiritual spheres. He has been instrumental in conceiving and implementing many social initiatives that impact million of people in this country, giving them a better quality of life. Besides his achievements in the social sector, he has evolved innovative ideas in presenting the ancient cultural ethos of India in a modern scientific and technological context.

The first few years after leaving IIT was dedicated to the challenges of his internal spiritual self-development guided by the teachings of Bhagavad Gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada .  In the year 1990 he took up the challenge of building one of today’s most  popular cultural and spiritual centers,  a landmark destination in Bangalore: The ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Temple .  Starting with practically nothing, from a fledging two room rented premises, he built and led a team of selfless volunteers in what can be considered as one of India’s largest fundraising efforts of those days, to set up this cultural monument at a cost of over Rs. 40 crores on a seven acres plot in the heart of Bangalore City. It was inaugurated in 1997 by the then President of India. The successful completion of this project was due his applying his training in IIT on a foundation of spiritual maturity for a selfless cause.  www.iskconbangalore.org

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Inspired by the idea of simple living and high thinking, Madhu Pandit Dasa envisioned a  eco-friendly and sustainable organic farm. His initiatives led to creating the Hare Krishna Nature Farm, in Mysore. This concept of impacting rural development through sustainable agriculture was conceived by him  long before the organized sector realized its potential..The Hare Krishna Nature Farm grew to be a model farm and a case study in sustainable and organic farming in Karnataka, specific to the farmers of dry lands. Thousands of farmers all over India have benefitted from this project.

The Nature Farm believes in making a difference to the lives of farmers, who comprise over 55% of the nation’s population. It is founded on the understanding that the diverse culture of farming rests with the rural population and any drain of rural population to the urban settlement results in the extinction of the delicate and diverse cultural fabric of the nation. The motto being, ‘Taking prosperity to the door steps of farmers’.

AKSHAY PATRA, FEEDING OVER ONE MILLION UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN EVERYDAY

Madhu Pandit Das then set about addressing the issue of supporting education through a mid day meal scheme. He worked at leveraging technology and philanthropy towards the cause of alleviating hunger of school children of this country. Thus was born the Akshaya Patra Program. It began as a scheme that fed 1,500 underprivileged children in the year 2000. In less than 10 years the Akshaya Patra Foundation has becomes one of India’s best conceived, technology-intensive social sector initiatives. A strategic intervention in the education of underprivileged children that provides unlimited, free, hygienic, nutritious meals every day.  This programme reaches over a million school children in eighteen locations in eight states in the country. The growth of Akshaya Patra Foundation demonstrates Madhu Pandit Dasa’s organizational ability in bringing together the best technology and innovation-talents ,  principles and practices  of corporate governance, corporate donors, individual donors and the government into the social sector to address, in a scalable manner,  one of the most pressing needs of the country, that of supporting education among underprivileged children.

The efficiency and intricacies of this Akshaya Patra program has attracted the Harvard Business School to make a case study of it. The practices of corporate governance in Akshaya Patra has attracted the CNBC India Business Leader Award-2008 under the category ‘Society Enterprise of the year’. The transparency and accountability has attracted ‘ICAI Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting’ conferred by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for the year ended March 31, 2009. The leveraging of technology in education sector has earned itself the coveted Tech Awards Laureates 2009, as one of 15 global innovators recognized each year for applying technology to benefit humanity and spark global change. The Tech Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum, and presented by Applied Materials, Inc. USA, selected Akshaya Patra from among hundreds of nominations representing 66 countries. These are just a few of the several accolades received by this program which has attracted leaders in business and politics all over the world as a model.
His vision is to scale up the Akshaya Patra Program by 2020 to feed five million underprivileged children in India.  www.akshayapatra.org

INNOVATIVE PRESENTATION OF ANCIENT INDIAN HERITAGE

Madhu Pandit Das envisions to showcase the rich Indian heritage through legendary stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana on platforms of world class presentation like 3-D Animation and Theme Parks on the likes of Disney Land. The India Heritage Foundation’s first project was ‘Little Krishna’, a 3D state of the art animation serial depicting childhood pastimes of Krishna. Impressed by its world class quality and business prospects internationally, The BIG Animation of Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt Ltd entered into a partnership with India Heritage Foundation to complete the 13 episode serial with a production cost of over Rs.50 crores. ‘Little Krishna’ has today won several national and international awards to its credit. To name a few it received Best 3D Animation – Asian Television Award- 2009;  Outstanding Indian Animated Content- FICCI Frames 2008;Best Animated T.V. series- FICCI Frames 2008; Best 3D Animation Film- Golden Curser 2008; Best Animated Film-24FPS Animation Awards 2006-07.

Currently Madhu Pandit Das is working on setting up a Indian Heritage and Culture Tourism  Park. The ‘Krishna Lila Park’ will be built with an integrated spiritual township  in Bangalore  on a 75 acre land in Bangalore city at an estimated cost of over Rs. 750 crores. This is the first attempt in this country to bring in the same technology that is used in Disney Parks around the world to create attractions centered around  themes of Mahabharata and Ramayana etc. The unique funding strategy of realty cross subsidizing a major heritage and cultural tourism project on a grand scale by a non-profit organization is a startling combination of concepts brought together by Madhu Pandit Dasa.

One common  personal trait of Madhu Pandit Dasa can be observed to run through all these projects in the last three decades. His courage and faith in daring to dream and make the impossible happen out of nothing and engage the glorious results in the selfless service to humanity. The traits of a daring selfless social entrepreneur.

Governing Body Commissioner – ISKCON Bangalore Group of Temples
President and Governing Council Member, ISKCON Bangalore Society
Temple President, ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Mandir, Bangalore
Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation
Managing Trustee, Hare Krishna Movement

Pasted from http://www.madhupanditdasa.info

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. venkat58
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 01:53:09

    Akshaya Patra doing good for underprivileged children …

    Reply

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