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Ek Tochi Nana

Dr. Mohan Agashe


Dr. Mohan Agashe is a psychiatrist who opted to work in a government hospital rather than to go for the much more lucrative world of private practice, so as to have equal time to devote to his first love, "acting." Agashe has been acknowledged as one of the finest actors on the stage and screen, in the 1970s and 1980s. Beginning with an acting tour-de-force as the Machiavellian Nana Phadnavis in Vijay Tendulkar's internationally acclaimed play Ghashiram Kotwal, Agashe went on to great heights in a succession of plays and award winning films by masters like Satyajit Ray, Mira Nair, Shyam Benegal, Gautam Ghose, and Jabbar Patel. Yet perhaps his greatest contribution to the Indian Theatre in general and Marathi Theatre in particular has been his pioneering work in introducing in 1986 the methods and ideas of Grips Theatre Berlin into India, he also conducts workshop all over India on Grips methodology with the help of Goethe Institute. He was awarded "The Goethe Medal," an Official Decoration of German Government, by the President of The Goethe Institute in March 2004.

He also played a major role in bringing contemporary Indian Theatre to Europe and North America. He was Theatre Consultant in 1987 to Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and in charge of the Theatre Program for the Festival of India in former USSR. He has received the "Bundesverdienskreuz" (The Cross of Order of Merit) from the President of Federal Republic of Germany in 2002 and the Indian Sangeet Natak Academy Award for Theatre (Highest National Honour in Arts) in 1996; he was conferred one of India's highest national honors, the "Padma Shri" by the President of India in 1990.

On the medical side, he initiated a project to strengthen the mental health education and service in 1988, which resulted in the Maharashtra State Government adopting a new mental health policy. As a Mental Health Advisor to the Government of Maharashtra, he established Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health (State level Training and Research Institute) at Pune in 1991, of which he is the founder Director-Professor. Most broadly he has helped the Maharashtra Government to reorganize the Mental Health Services in the State. He initiated the projects for psychosocial rehabilitation of victims of the Latur earthquake of 1993 and was the Principal Investigator of a 1994 Research Project undertaken by the Indian Council for Medical Research Centre for Advanced Research to study the health consequences of this earthquake disaster (almost 10,000 fatalities and 35,000 homes destroyed). Currently he is the Principal Investigator of an Indo-US joint Research Project on "Cultural Disorders of Fatigue and Weakness."

In 1997 Dr. Agashe was invited to occupy the chair of Director of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, where he continued till April 2002. Currently, he is the Honorary President of Maharashtra Cultural Centre (Pune), Honorary Director D.A.T.E. (Developing Awareness Thru Entertainment), and Advisor to the Government of Maharashtra on Mental Health-Policy and Program. Dr. Mohan Agashe lives in Pune.