Creating Positive Social Change — Dr. Maya Shahani

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Dr. Maya Shahani, chairperson of the Shahani Group and the Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, is as comfortable meeting global leaders as she is working in villages and slums. With “Ethical Excellence” as her motto, she carries out her responsibilities with compassion, love and dedication.

The Shahani Group and the Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management are synonymous with promoting quality education. Maya is also the trustee of the HSNC Board, which runs 27 prestigious educational institutes in Mumbai, including Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, HR College, KC College and National College, to name a few.

As the vice chairperson of the Global Dialogue Foundation (GDF), Maya works under the aegis of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to bring Unity in Diversity by embracing all cultures.

Maya inaugurated the first Peace Garden in India under the aegis of GDF, and through her unique initiatives, she is helping the foundation work towards building an equitable and inclusive environment by creating Unity in Diversity in Campuses and Unity in Diversity in Companies.

Further, she is the chairperson of the SAGE Foundation, the CSR arm of the Shahani Group, which focuses on the skills training of under-resourced students in banking, finance,
digital marketing and communication skills.

The objective is to make students employable and transition them from blue-collar to white-collar jobs. With this vision in mind, the Foundation aims to train one million graduates with the help of sizable grants from companies like JP Morgan, Axis Bank Foundation and a few others.

Notably, the Foundation also runs UnLtd India, an incubator for early-stage social entrepreneurs.

Moreover, the SAGE Foundation has formed a network of NGOs, industry, government bodies, spiritualists, educationists and environmentalists, ensuring they work in synergy to build a better tomorrow. It is a close affiliate of Buy1Give1, a global organisation that connects corporations with NGOs and has donated thousands of dollars to various charities adopted by Dr Shahani.

The SAGE Foundation has adopted Shikshangram, a Shelter for Homeless Children in Lonavala.

Maya is the trustee of the Thadomal Shahani Trust which helped to set up the Thadomal Shahani Engineering College run by the HSNC Board, Kishinchand Thadomal Shahani Girls’ High School, Anandram Thadomal Shahani School, Tejibai Thadomal Shahani School, Dayaram Thadomal Shahani Auditorium, Ajit Shahani Computer Centre, Lila Shahani Library and Prayer Room.

Thadomal Shahani was the family patriarch and a well-known global educational brand. The trust runs The Shahani Holiday Home in Lonavala on a non-profit basis. Apart from that, prestigious medical institutions like Jaslok, Hinduja, and Tata Memorial Hospital received seed money, help, and support from the Thadomal Shahani Trust.

To her credit, Maya institutionalised the ‘Award for Ethical Excellence.’ The inaugural beneficiaries of this award were India’s great industrialists Ratan Tata and Narayana Murthy, who received it from then-Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.

Continually adding feathers to her cap, Maya Shahani is a founder trustee and the first chairperson of the Women’s Movement for Peace and Prosperity, an initiative of the Times Foundation which works towards gender diversity by giving a voice to the voiceless women.

Maya has worked closely with Mike Handcock and Landi Jac’s Conscious Leadership Movement. She is currently working with Dr Tony Nader  (Leader of the Global Country for World Peace), along with the New York Times best-selling author and humanitarian Janet Attwood, to train the students of her various institutes to be conscious leaders.

Maya firmly believes that global harmony and an equitable environment can only be achieved if youth leaders work as conscience leaders towards sustainable development goals.

Interestingly, Maya has also been featured in Mike Handcock’s film “Dreamcatchers,” which portrays the lives of ordinary people achieving extraordinary results.

As a Patron of the Cancer Patients Aid Association and the vice chairperson of the Bombay Mothers and Children Welfare Society, Maya helped to set up the Lila Shahani Centre for the Early Detection of Cancer and the Ajit Shahani Diagnostic Centre for the needy in the Memory of her mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Furthermore, she helped renovate tribal schools and set up the Lila Shahani Hall for the mentally challenged.

Awards & Recognition

Maya has received several national and international awards for her outstanding service to society. They include:

  • Glory of India (Gold Medalist) Award
  • Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sadbhavana Award
  • Mahatma Gandhi Leadership Award
  • Rising Star of Asia Excellence Award
  • Global Peace Award
  • The Jewel of India Award
  • Outstanding Achievement Award for Business Excellence 2022
  • The Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Fair Business Practice
  • Bharat Gaurav Puraskar
  • International Golden Achievers Award (Moscow)
  • International Royal Personality Award (Bangkok)
  • Glory of Excellence Award (Goa)
  • Gem of International Excellence Award
  • Life Time Golden Achievement Award
  • the Women Achievers Award
  • Jewel of Asia Excellence Award
  • Asia Pacific Golden Achiever Award
  • the National Gold Medalist Padma Award
  • Recognition at the Clinton Global Initiative


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