The founder of Samatol Foundation is Mr. Vijay Ramchandra Jadhav.
He was born in Bori village, Taluka Junnar, District Pune on 25th December 1973. In his adolescence, he was quite passionate about learning. He would travel a distance of 32 kms everyday just to go to school. His love for knowledge was so grand that he paid no heed to his own discomfort. Despite all these hurdles, Mr. Vijay stood first in 4th Standard in entire Pune District. He was then rewarded with scholarship for his further studies which opened doors for new opportunities. That is how Mr. Jadhav’s curiosity towards the working of entire social system was developed.
Unfortunately, financial constraints restricted him from completing his graduation and he had to leave his studies in his second year B A. He did not give up however. He then pursued an ITI course in Power Press Machine Operating which landed him with a job at Godrej, Vikhroli as a Press Operator.
His job with Godrej was for a short period. After working for the company from 1997 till 1999, he realized working for society was his true calling. Godrej gave him the inspiration to make this decision. In Godrej he got in touch with his friend Prakash who was attached with Narmada Bachao Andolan, this was the first time he became aware of social work. Vijay was also involved with YUVA (Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action) in Child Rights Unit.
He pursued his newfound interest further by undertaking a social diploma from Nirmala Niketan and did his course in slum studies through Ruia College. He worked with YUVA from 1999 to 2004. While doing this work, he realized that many children aged from 6 to 18 run away from home due to petty reasons. These children then do not receive proper education, get trapped in social vices and lose their precious childhood. On coming across with this cruel reality of society, Vijay decided that he needs to work for these kids.
First, he himself began searching for such kids by roaming on railway platforms of Mumbai. When he found children, he would personally return them to their respective families. Vijay and his friends got immense respect and honor from those families.
It is not easy to work in this line. Especially when the society seems to be against you but the tears of joy on the faces of reunited families, is what drives Vijay to work. Also knowing that he is giving these children a second chance in a secure environment, gives him immense satisfaction.
After 18 years of work. Vijay is trying to convince the government and society that a child friendly officer must be appointed at every crowded place. At railway junctions, bus stands, auto or taxi stand, hospitals, schools and colleges and most importantly at market areas. He is still working hard towards creating a “Baal Premi Samaj” (a Child Friendly Society). Also his scope of work is not only limited to finding children from railway stations but he is aiming at the overall development of such children.
Mr Vijay Jadhav is a Member in Maharashtra Statre Commission for Protection of Child Rights Since August 2017
He has received more than 100 awards for his contribution to social field. Some of notable awards are Samaj Bhushn Award in 2019, Thane Ratra Award in 2019, Raksha Abhiyaan Award in 2018, The Real Hero Award in 2017, My Home India Award in 2015, Suryakant Foundation Award in 2014, Loksatta Award in 2013, Samajik Nyay Award in 2012, Janseva Bank Award in 2011, Keshav Shrushti Award in 2010, Anand Dighe Pratishthan Award in 2009, Dombivli Nagari Sahakari Bank Award in 2008, Rotary Club Thane Award in 2007 and many other such awards he has won through his passion for social service.
Mr Vijay Jadhav conducts Awareness sessions on Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (J J Act, 2015) and Protecion of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act 2012). He spreads awareness through his sessions in differnet sections of society about child welfare and child rights. The sessions are held in schools, colleges, hostels, hospitals, societies and in every institution where there are children involved.