The Maher anniversary this year (2017) is a special event to celebrate. This is because the day would mark Maher’s 20 years of social commitment and service. The two decades of Maher have been full of events-ups, downs, applause, criticism, snubs and awards. Maher was able to come through all those vicissitudes of its life. That was because of the fact that Maher’s work was based on moral courage and truth. Maher staff has all along these two decades always nurtured an atmosphere of love for those who came to seek some help from them. At the same time among the staff, there has always been a milieu of cooperation and camaraderie. I will not say they had no differences on issues at hand. But they did not stretch the differences to the extent that harmed the image of Maher. At the end of the day, they were all Maherites who always amply loved their work and the goal their organisation stood for.
On the occasion of this dvidashakpoorti (completion of 20 years), I express my gratitude to all those who have helped us in our pursuit of our goal. Without their helping hand, we wouldn’t have been where we are now. But I am also thankful to those who have looked at us with a critical eye since they gave us an opportunity to learn and saved us from resting on laurels earned and being over complacent. While those who helped us enabled us to dream, those pointed out to pitfalls helped us keep our feet on the ground.
I am happy that it is just in the fitness of things that the 20th anniversary of an organisation established for the welfare of women should have been presided over by a woman who once adorned the highest constitutional position in our country and symbolised our beloved country. Smt. Pratibha Patil has been the only woman President that we have had in our country and I am happy that she agreed to be our Chief Guest on the occasion.
Smt. Patil would be releasing a book on Maher in Marathi for our Marathi readers. While I was born in Kerala and am proud of it, I have been in Maharashtra since I was 15 year old. I conceived of my life’s mission here in Maharashtra, and Maher has traversed its path of last 20 years with the support and help of my friends and colleagues here. I am happy they would now have at hand an authentic account of Maher in their own language. I am thankful to Dr Hemant Devasthali for penning this book for us. I express my thanks to the staff also for making the necessary information available to him. I would wish to thank the Almighty on this momentous occasion in my personal life and the life of Maher. With these words, I wish you all a Happy New Year and a Happy Maher Anniversary.