Prakash Kardaley Friend’s
Prakash Kardaley Friend's
The Prakash Kardaley Memorial Lecture is one of the prestigious events in the city’s calendar for socially aware citizens, media students and professionals. The eminent speakers for this memorial lecture have been: Aruna Roy, Arvind Kejriwal & Vinita Kamte, Shailesh Gandhi, Kiran Bedi& Anna Hazare, Rajdeep Sardesai and N Ram.
Armed with a sharp news sense, a keen analytical mind and a forceful writing style, his byline enjoyed the kind of stature, which few others in the national press, then, did. His news stories were highly credible, innovative, thought-provoking and inspiring for the people to wake up and do something about the issues he raised. Investigative journalism had been his forte. A man of impeccable professional integrity, he had spotted and groomed several budding journalists who occupy senior positions in the profession today.
He founded the Express Citizens Forum (ECF) in the early 1990s and made it a very formidable citizen pressure group. The ECF picked up issues related to environment; drinking water pipeline for Pune; encroachment of pandals on public roads during Ganesh Festival; violation of building byelaws in Pune cantonment; road development through the verdant Law College Hill; poor construction of roads; plight of accident victims who do not get help from citizens and hospitals; drug orgies in the backyards of Koregaon Park; eliminating hardships of rural women during summer which brings in water supply crisis, and many more.
His affection for the defence fraternity reflected in the formation of the Express Citizens’ War Memorial Committee, which held a lecture series to celebrate the silver jubilee year of the victory of the Indo-Pak 1971 War in December 1996. The culmination of this was the birth of the idea of erecting a national war memorial through civilian citizen initiative. Kardaley through the dedicated committee members comprising stalwart former defence officers collected Rs.15 lakh mostly through individual contributions. The National War Memorial, which is a premier homage/tourist site of Pune was inaugurated on August 15, 1998. This war memorial, the only one of its kind in South Asia built through citizen contribution and has the names of all soldiers from Maharashtra who laid down their lives in action since the country's independence, engraved in marble.
with the theme `Indians are second to none' off the old Pune-Mumbai highway to commemorate the Battle of Wadgaon, 1779, which he said had been deliberately suppressed by the British because they had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Marathas. He dug deep into history along with history scholars and researchers and resurrected this forgotten chapter of Maratha history. Prominent citizens like Mr
Arun Firodia and Dr S B Mujumdar were Members of the committee that erected the victory pillar off this highway.
Since the year 2000, he totally devoted himself to the promotion of a law on Right To Information in Maharashtra and in India and had been networking with activists at the state, national and international levels. His incisive articles in the Express Initiatives page first introducing the Maharashtra Right to Information Act and then highlighting successes and failures, triumphs and tribulations of the users had a major impact on readers. He was also one of the silent participants in drafting the national Right To Information Act and was the wisdom master for prominent RTI activists in the country including Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and information commissioners. He conducted several workshops for citizens on the use of the transparency law in Maharashtra
Extremely net-savvy, he started the most popular and well-respected RTIe-group called`Hum Janenge' which provides a common platform for RTI advocates throughout the country to exchange information and share experience.
Till the last minute of his life, he was working like an ant for the society. He suddenly passed away on July 15, 2007. The memorial lecture is a way of paying tribute to the man who remained low profile and lived with the philosophy of `just do it.’
Members of Prakash Kardaley Friend’s
The committee members of the `Friends of Prakash Kardaley
1. Amol Kardaley, son of Prakash Kardaley who is a software
engineer in Australia
2. Anand Agashe, veteran journalist who has held senior editorial
positions in Times of India, The Indian Express, Loksatta, Gomantak
and Sakal group.
3. Vinita Deshmukh, senior journalist and RTI activist and
Consulting Editor, Moneylife
4. Vijay Kumbhar, leading RTI activist who was the first person in
the country to inspect documents in a govt office under Section 4 of
the RTI Act
5. Vivek Velankar, leading RTI activist and author
6. Jugal Rathi, civic activist working for non-motorised transport,
7. Shashikant Mehendale, leading transporter and war history scholar
8. Sanjay Pawar, former Vice-President, marketing, DNA newspaper
9. Sandeep Khardekar, social activist and politician
10. Prof (Col) A Balasubramaniam, Founder Director, Balaji group
of educational institutes
12. Anant Nadkarni, former senior Corporate leader. Tata group of companies