Shashank Kulkarni, an internationally renowned agricultural policy scientist from Central University of Jammu, has been shortlisted for the prestigious International Young Leadership Award. This award was given by the Saint Martin Center for Research and Accreditation Commission. The Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Micheal Edward mentioned that the selection of Shashank was made for this award due to his extraordinary contribution to social work in Jammu and Kashmir through Baba Laxman Das Rashtriya Smarak Nirman Seva Samiti, an innovative socio-spiritual movement working for the upliftment of humanity in the sensitive part of the country Jammu and Kashmir. Baba Laxman Das, a great monk from Andhra Pradesh, left at sixteen and settled in Patti village of Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir. He devoted his entire life to the socio-economic and spiritual upliftment of millions of people in this region. He died in 2001. Shashank spent crucial years interviewing over 200 people and authored a research-based book Baba Laxman Das: Personality and Philosophy. This project was recognized by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India and provided his valuable message. Mahamandleshwar Swami Aksharanand prefaced this Granth, said this literary work is a revival of Baba Laxmandas which will inspire future generations.
Shashank Kulkarni, an internationally renowned agricultural policy scientist, is primarily from Sakharal, a small village in Sangli district, Maharashtra. He has an agricultural engineering background. He joined the Department of Public Policy and Public Administration, Central University of Jammu in 2016 as a junior researcher from the University Grants Commission, New Delhi. He was living at the college hostel, located in Jammu town. Its university is located in Samba district, 22 kilometers from Jammu city. Due to his passion for upliftment of society, he started living in a village of Suchani which is very close to the central campus of Central University of Jammu. He started a socio-spiritual movement in this neighborhood, becoming a Baba Laxmandas Rashtriya Smarak Nirman Seva Samiti. Today, more than four projects are underway within the framework of this national Samiti. In addition to this, he has written ten books. He has received numerous national and international awards for his contribution.
The various initiatives started with an innovative socio-spiritual movement Baba Laxmandas Rashtriya Smarak Nirman Seva Samiti. It can be enlisted as follows with a brief explanation.
- Samskar Kendra Ball:
Teaching the culture and the great Indian traditions to the younger generation is the main motivation of Bal Samskar Kendra. He started by considering the target group from 5 years old to 15 years old. This age group is compassionate. Therefore, Bal Samskar Kendra targets him. It works with the help of the community and the students and professors of Central University of Jammu.
- Talking walls
This is an exciting initiative launched with the help of the company. In this initiative, motivational and inspirational quotes from great people like Dr. BR Ambedkar, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Aadi Shankaracharya and so on have been written on the wall of Patti village. The village and neighboring villages frequently read these quotes and are inspired by them. Now he becomes a source of positivity and inspiration for the villagers. Many children in the village memorized these quotes and tried to implement them in their lives.
- Matru Shakti Sanghathan (Mother Power Organization)
This Samiti has created a platform for the women of the villages in this region to discuss solutions to their problems and initiatives for their upliftment. This platform plays a crucial role in empowering women and especially girls in the village. It also contributes to improving the quality of life of women in rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Yuva Sangthan
It was constituted under this socio-spiritual movement. It began to convert the tremendous energy of youth into a more constructive way. It educates young people in the neighborhood about managing their mail, their health, etc.
- Baba Laxmandas Library
It quenches the mental hunger of the people in this rural area. Now it is emerging as a literary movement for villagers. He starts ‘Debate Club’ for debate and discussion. It provides the opportunity for different age groups to read according to their interests.
He has so far written a total of ten books in Marathi, Hindi and English on various topics. Some of the important subjects of his books lie fallow:
- Naad Antaricha (Vibration of the Soul)
Published by Shabda Vaibhav Prakashan, Pune (2017)
- Need to re-establish scientific spiritualism,
Published by Shabda Vaibhav Prakashan, Pune (2018)
- The best way of life
Published by Shabda Vaibhav Prakashan, Pune (2019)
- Swaminathan Commission: a basis for agricultural policies in India
Published by Academic Foundation, New Delhi (2020)
- From coordination to integration
Published by Navinya Prakashan, Pune (2020)
- Baba Laxman Das: Personality and Philosophy, published by High Brow Publication, Jammu (2021)
- Bhairav Puran, published by Navinya Prakashan, Pune (2021)
- Thambayala Hav Thoda (Need to Stop) A Book of Self Recited Marathi and Hindi Poems, published by Navinya Prakashan, Pune (2022)
Shashank is internationally known for his outstanding contribution to agricultural and peasant policy. National Farmers Commission (Swaminathan Commission), National Farmers Policy, Farmers Suicides in Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra, Agricultural policies are critical research areas in which he has been working for years. He has contributed to Indian Farmer Policies through his internationally acclaimed book “Swaminathan Commission: A Foundation of Farmer Policies in India”. The father of India’s green revolution, Prof. MS Swaminathan, passed on this book. The book was published by the reputed Academic Foundation, New Delhi. This book had been recorded as the first book in the world exclusively written on the Swaminathan Commission.
This book becomes more believable, authentic and vital as it carries a foreword by the father of the green revolution, Professor MS Swaminathan.
As a founding doctoral researcher in the Department of Public Policy and Public Administration, Central University of Jammu, he is currently working as a Senior Researcher in the University Grants Commission. He has researched agricultural and peasant policies in India over the past five years. He had been congratulated by Gopalaswami Parthasarathy, Chancellor, Dr. Sanjeev Jain, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Rouchi Chaudhary, Head of Public Policy and Public Administration Department and Research Supervisor, Dr. Mohit Sharma, Dr. G Durga Rao and other dignitaries from Central University of Jammu along with various sections of society for this glorious achievement.