Shantabai Chintamani Sahastrabuddhe is a Principal, who is not only a striving activist for the educational, literal and cultural development of Dapoli, but also a source of inspiration for many charitable trusts and people. She is well-known for being scholastic, soft-spoken, rich in thoughts, excellent elocution and for her collection of folklore. Apart from this, she is a very persistent social activist who loves to mix among the crowd and work unanimously; which makes her one of Dapoli’s favorite personalities.
Shantabai was in the village of Kolthare on 3rd April 1934. She grew up with five sisters and a brother. Mr.Laxman Mahadev is her father. With great difficulties she completed her primary education from a school in Kolthare and later from A.G high school. She completed her finals (7th grade in those days) from a vernacular medium and then proceeded to become a MA (Masters of Arts). While in 7th grade, her mother fell seriously ill. As her father stayed out for work, her brother was in Mumbai and sisters at their in-laws. Hence, the responsibility of her mother came upon her, which she carried out efficiently while completing her 7th grade with good merits. After 7th, she completed her 8th and 9th grade as an external student, with the help of her uncle Krushna Mahajan who taught her Sanskrit and Mathematics. Shantabai did rest of her studies on her own. Around similar timelines, the school at Kolthare declared availability of applications for 6th and 7th grade. As the school board was local, the classes had to start and the responsibility to appoint teachers for the class dawned on the school. As Shantabai had passed 7th grade, she was appointed as the teacher. That is how she became school teacher at the age of 13. She worked at the school of Kolthare for 10 and half months. She was paid a wage of rupees 1`3 (while others were paid a wage of rupees 70). 10 days after she took admission for 11th grade, she fell sick with a serious case of typhoid, which had her bed ridden for almost 3 months. After she recovered from the illness, she was determined to pass the examinations and she didn’t just pass the examinations, she scored a total of 77.5% in her S.S.C examinations. Rank wise, she was the 1st in her college, 2nd in the Jilha, and 1st among all the girls of the entire state. Later she continued to finish her M.A from the Gogate Joglekar College of Ratanagiri. She served as a lecturer in the college of Sindhudurg from 1957 to 1960. In 1`974, she joined Varadkar College at Dapoli as a Vice Principal and voluntarily retired from the same college at the age of 55 yrs.
After retiring, she continued takings tuitions for the students of 10th grade. Teaching is like an addiction to Shantabai, which is why she still takes home tuitions at the age of 83. There are very few teachers of the Sanskrit language; which is why she teaches the language to kids. Even though she is an M.A in English, she is an expert in Marathi, Sanskrit and English equally. She reads a lot of literature in these 3 languages. She is especially fond of the poems by the English poet Robert Brownie and her wife, Elizabeth Brownie. Apart from reading, she is also fond of music and sports. She is an excellent Tabla & Harmonium (musical instruments) player. She used to play table tennis and badminton a lot too.
She has written a storybook for kids named ‘Raajputra Atul’ and also wrote a famous novel named ‘Bahin Bhau’. She has published stories for kids in famous newspapers like Lokmat and many magazines too. She has also written a collection of light hearted stories and other story books name ‘Sonchafa’ & ’Bhaavtaranga’. She has also written a collection of articles based on her husband Mr. Chintamani Sahastrabuddhe, called ‘Manibandha’ and also edited the special issue named ‘Garambi’ which is published when the literature conference is arranged. Shantabai has written many articles and stories related to life of a woman which were published in papers like Prahar, Lokmat, Pudhari and magazines like Rohini, Anuradha & Ekta. Prof. Shantabai Sahastrabuddhe was the president of the Konkan Literature Convention, Dapoli, from 1992 to 2004.
Child and Women welfare are the prime areas of Shantabai’s social work. She set up many human value camps and free libraries for the development of children. She established many institutions for the mental and educational development of women. Gramudyogi Mahila Mandal (Ratnagiri), Snehal Bhagini Mandal (Malvan), Sharda Mahila Mandal (Dapoli) are a few institutions which she founded and mentored. She also served as a secretary of Ratnagiri Jilha Mahila Mandal. Her work style even involved visiting rural areas to set camps & creating awareness about topics like Dowry, Alcoholism, Family welfare and Family health. She even mentored many Women centric institutions about commerce and administration. Apart from these institutions, she was also a senate member of esteemed organizations like Taluka Samanvay Samiti (Dapoli) & Krushi Vidyapeeth.
Work for the Underprivileged in Society-
- Served as president for 6 years and a current active member at the Indirabai Waman Bade Karnabadhir Vidyalaya.
- Vice President of the Snehajoshi Andha Shala, Gharadi (Tal.Mandangad) from 2003 till date.
- Founding member of the Ganesh Datar Vrudhashram, Mauje Dapoli.
With the help of above organizations, Shantabai tries to serve the blind, handicapped and senior citizens and bring happiness in their lives.
Honors & Titles:-
- ‘Punyashloka’ award from the Government of Maharashtra’s Women & Child Welfare Department (1997) (This was awarded to her by the deputy chief minister and she was the first in Ratnagiri to receive this award).
- ‘Ki.Saraswatibai Kelkar Smruti Puraskar’ awarded by the Bhagini Nivedita Pratisthan, Pune for her exceptional work on educational, social and literal welfare.
- Letter of Laurels from the Nehru Yuva Kendra, Ratnagiri & a Certificate from the Government of Maharashtra for her contribution in social welfare.