I Ulhas alis Aba Bagul grassroot Congress worker, started my political career as a youth Congress worker about 30 years ago. I am Congress Corporator for the past 22 years in the Pune Municipal Corporation. I was standing committee chairman in the PMC later on I was the Congress Group leader and the opposition leader in the PMC. I am a diehard Congress loyalist and that I have actively served the society through various initiatives over the past three decades. It is my pleasure that I have been contributing a great deal to the Pune city's development.
I have unflinching faith in the Congress Party and my efforts shall be to keep the party flag flying high even amidst rough political weather in the city. National integration, a secular mind set, social equality and equity of justice are main principles of the Congress Party which are upheld in high esteem by me. I have beyond measure love and respect for the late leaders, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. In true exhibition of my regard for Rajiv Gandhi, a novel municipal school for poor children was set up under the aegis of the Pune Municipal Corporation in 2012 and has been titled, the Rajiv Gandhi Academy of E-learning.
The youth, the senior citizens and the privileged, are my most favored sections and have immensely benefited via my drives like development of the city's skyline, beautifying the city with a range of innovative gardens, architectural structures, auditoriums, providing basic civic amenities, free Varanasi Darshan to the poor and senior citizens, free education to poor students, cultural fests for people of all religions etc.
I consistently strived to bring about many developmental changes in the Pune and took great efforts to visualize and plan for hike in the revenues of the PMC. Some of my blueprints are on the anvil of being implemented such as Premium FSI, onetime tax, revenue committee for helping the growth of revenue, new policy for hoardings, proper management of octroi posts etc.
My contribution to enhancing Pune's beauty and fame is major. Many innovative spots like the butterfly Garden. the Seven Wonders replica, Musical Fountain, 4D Auditorium, the Vijay Tendulkar Museum, Aliens Nallah Garden, a sports complex and computer library etc. are some initiatives taken by me under the aegis of the PMC. The Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Auditorium and Musical Fountain have attracted more than 15 lakh visitors in one and a half years. A few more initiatives like a planetarium, a wax museum, a light and sound show are some ideas chalked out by me that await implementation.
Towards the future development of the city, I have been actively leading in the project plan for a traffic tunnel; follow up on the HCMTR road, public toilets for woman, cycle tracks for environment protection, grey water purification etc.
My dream project, the Rajiv Gandhi Academy of E-learning is a one of its kind mission and plays an exemplary role in the entire nation. A bag free schooling concept, where children from under privileged sections can study with the help of electronic learning system, is an innovative idea implemented. The school was set up by the PMC in 2012 and was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Prithviraj Chavan and is a favorite visiting spot for many diplomats, bureaucrats, politicians, educationist and others from all over India. The school offers high standard education along with free food and great amenities with CBSE board. A training facility for entrance test preparation for institutes like IIT is soon to roll out.
Another of my innovative gifts to the city is proposed slum rehabilitated scheme under the slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) scheme. In this proposed scheme, slums can be rehabilitated away from the existing spots. Rather than the builders redeveloping the slums, slum dwellers can be directly given monetary benefits of about Rs 30-40 lakhs each through Development Right certificate (DRC). This will enable the poor to purchase homes of their choice anywhere else by selling the DRC. This will also help the PMC to have vacant plots for developing sports grounds, schools, and hospitals, gardens, parking areas etc. the concept has been approved by the SRA committee and is now awaiting approval at the state government level. I had arranged huge mass meetings of thousands of slum dwellers to create an awareness on this scheme and the traditional Congress voters, the slum dwellers in Pune wholeheartedly got involved in this movement which promises a new hope for up gradation of their standard of living.
Arranging free darshan yatras to Kashi (Varanasi), the holiest Indian city has been a regular initiative by Aba Bagul over the past 12 years under which, a special Pune- Varanasi- Pune train organized. Nearly 50,000 old and poor devotees have benefitted from this yatra.
Aba Bagul has been successfully arranged another unique activity every year; a special ten- day Navratri festival, the Pune Navratri Sanskritic Mahotsav in the navratri period. He has been instrumental in erecting a huge Mahalaxmi Goddess temple where this navratri festival is celebrated. During these ten days period, many great artists like Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt. Hridayanath Mangeshkar, etc have graced the dais by their stellar performances. Awards like Laxmimata Kala Sanskriti Puraskar and Maharshi Puraskar are given away at this 19 year old navratri mahotsav. Mahila Mahotsav is also organized under this banner with participation of thousands of women.
Many great leaders have attended the programmes initiated by Aba Bagul in various capacities like chief guests, guests of honour for inaugurations etc. Some of these leaders are Chief Minister of Maharashtra, shri Prithviraj Chavan, Dep. CM shri. Ajit Pawar, smt.Ambika Soni, shri. Patang Rao Kadam, Industries Minister, shri. Narayan Rane, Cooperatives Minister shri Harshvardhan Patil, MP shri Suresh Kalmadi, shri Ulhas Pawar etc.
Aba Bagul also holds dear to his heart, the principles of secularism and love for all religions. He has been instrumental in organizing a Christmas eve celebration for under privileged children over the past 15 years, in which more than 10,000 children from all religions take active part. A special Id programme during Ramazan Id is also organized by Aba Bagul in which about 5,000 – 7,000 people participate. Apart from this, many other interesting initiatives like a Diwali celebration for the blind, free history and nature exploration trips for school students to Konkan and Ajanta caves etc are interesting attempts.
Tree plantation and blood donation drives, free medical camp, free book distribution to poor children, education support to the needy, recreation centre for senior citizens, Adhar card support services under the Indira Foundation banner are some other services offered by him and deserve a mention.