Leaders

Mr. Tukaram Sahadev Bamankar

The founder president of THE POONA BLIND MEN'S ASSOCIATION is Mr. Tukaram Sahadev Bamankar. Blinded since childhood he was educated in Bombay and took a course in physiotherapy. He later shifted to Pune,where he worked for several years at the Ruby Hall Clinic and the Jehangir Nursing Home. In 1952 he rented a small room for Rs. 30/- a month in the crowded Rasta Peth area, where the POONA BLIND MEN'S, ASSOCIATION was registered. Some years later, he was joined by Mr. Nanabhoy Mancherji Merchant, also visually impaired, who was designated as Finance and Development Secretary. He was responsible for raising resources for the Association, from a variety of fund-raising programmes carried out throughout the year. He expired in 1988. Mr. Niranjan Pranshankar Pandya, another visually impaired young man, but with a dynamic spirit and an indomitable will to serve, joined PBMA as Honorary Secretary in 1966. With initiative Qnd foresight, Mr. Merchant and Mr. Pandya helped in acquiring a plot of land at Hadapsar, where one of the largest workshops for the visually impaired in the country has been set up.

Mr. Niranjan P. Pandya

Mr. Niranjan Pranshankar Pandya was born on August 4, 1945. His At the age of 17 yrs, he lost his vision while playing cricket when a ball hit his forehead. He continued his studies and passed B.A. with Sociology. Mr. Pandya joined ' The Poona Blind Men's Association ' PBMA as the Hon. Secretary in the year 1966. A dynamic leader rose. His aim in life was to devote himself to the welfare of the blind and to prevent blindness. In 1971 he was invited by the German War Blind Men's Association to visit West Germany, Holland and Switzerland to observe the work of rehabilitation and training for the Blind. He became the 'Chief Executive Secretary' of 'PBMA' in 1971 and started a Technical Training Institute for the blind.

Shri. N. P. Pandya has been awarded the most prestigious National Padma Award "PADMASHRI" for his dedicated and committed exemplary social work for 46 years in rehabilitation and prevention of blindness.

He is a member of the Access Audit Committee of the Government of India. He is a member of the India group for VISION 2020 project RIGHT TO SIGHT. He is also the member of The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness.

Mr. Nanabhoy Mancherji Merchant

Mr. Nanabhoy Mancherji Merchant, also visually impaired, who was designated as Finance and Development Secretary. He was responsible for raising resources for the Association, from a variety of fund-raising programmes carried out throughout the year. He expired in 1988.