Suman Muthe – Social Worker, Writer and Sociologist (India)

Mrs. Suman Muthe was honored with Siddha Sewa award by Swami Hardas Foundation on 11th March 2011 at Pune. This award was given by the Founder of the foundation, Swami Hardas and his wife at an impressive ceremony attended by many dignitaries from India. The foundation has been actively working in India since 1990 and has an active presence in many other countries. The award has been constituted to felicitate those who have shown exemplary contributions to the society.

Suman Muthe is based in Nasik, Maharashtra and has been actively working in the areas of child welfare and women development particularly in the tribal belts of Maharashtra, India since more than 20 years. She has initiated and implemented several projects and guided women on various aspects such as child health care, women rights, family counseling etc. In recognition of her contribution, she has been awarded by many organizations which include the State level award by government of Maharashtra, "Ahilyabai Holkar Puraskar" given for outstanding contribution to the society in the areas of women and child development.

The "Siddha Sewa" award by Swami Hardas Foundation, Pune is her 22nd award in her list of recognitions. Besides doing grass root work, she has authored four books, delivers lectures and is a prolific writer. Suman Muthe started her career as a lecturer teaching Sociology and Marathi. Thereafter, she completed her M.Phil on "Tribal Working Women" which focussed on the patterns and issues of tribal working women, how they have evolved over the years and coming from backward areas, how they have coped up with various challenges in urban areas .

She then took up voluntary work with Satyaniketan Trust in a small town called Rajur in Ahmednagar district. Although this trust has been performing since more than 50 years in tribal areas, there are so many issues that are still unresolved. Satyaniketan Trust was founded by Gandhians and a majority of their work has been in the field of education through ashram schools, regular schools and colleges. Suman Muthe's work in this trust has been focussed on women and child development in these tribal areas. Some of the common issues that are faced in these areas include lack of basic education, health and malnutrition, marital issues, lack of education on women rights, sanitation and environment protection.

Suman Muthe has undertaken various projects and camps with the help of volunteers in this trust and has successfully implemented projects regarding the above mentioned issues. The issue of wrongful exploitation of women in these areas has reduced considerably due to the efforts taken by Suman Muthe. Even at the age of 64 years, she makes it a point to visit these villages, hold meeting with members of the trust and contribute as much as possible.

On her family front, she is also an example of someone who has balanced her work life with family life exceptionally well. A mother of two, she makes it a point to undertake various family chores and take good care of her family. Her life is a shining example of working for the society selflessly and making the best use of knowledge for the less privileged.

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