Mumbai: The 11th M R Pai (Mangalore Ranga Pai) memorial award function was held at the Indian Merchants’ Chamber Hall, Churchgate here, on 8 September.
The award was presented by RBI Dy Governor R Gandhi to Kishori Udeshi – former Chairperson, Banking Codes and Standards Board of India and former Dy Governor of RBI. Accepting the award, Kishori Udeshi said that M R Pai is a champion to the common men. She expressed her happiness at the present growth of the banking sector and added that without depositors, there is no bank.
RBI Dy Governor R Gandhi also released a book, “Corporate Governance of Commercial Banks in India”, authored by Dr Amitha Sehgal.
President of All India Bank Depositors Association SS Bhandare welcomed the gathering. The award was instituted by Punjab and Maharastra Cooperative Bank Ltd.; the Chairman of the Bank, S Waryam Singh spoke about the award. AIBDA Secretary Ashok Ravat and Gita R Pai were also present on dais.
The programme was arranged by All India Bank Depositors Association (Mumbai) in association with Forum of Free Enterprises and M R Pai Foundation.
About Late M R Pai
Well known as M R Pai, Mangalore Ranga Pai was born in Manjeshwar, at the border of Kerala and Karnataka on 7 May, 1931. He studied at Canara High School, Mangalore and later at Presidency College, Madras where he obtained an MA in Political Science and was at the top of his class, receiving the Candeth Gold Medal from Madras University.
After his studies, he went to Bombay where he worked as an assistant editor with Times of India. Two years later, he went to the United States, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of California, Los Angeles. During his stay in the US, he worked as the editor of a newspaper at the Carlsbad Journal in Carlsbad, California.
After his return to India, he joined the New India Assurance Company Limited. He then joined the Forum of Free Enterprise, which was launched on 18 July, 1956 by the late A D Shroff. In 1957, along with Nani Palkhivala, the Forum was developed into a national organisation which organised meetings on economic subjects across the country. He continued to be its vice president till his death, i.e. till 3rd July, 2003.
Through the forum, he was responsible in corresponding with Members of the Parliament of India, and other leaders.
M R Pai successfully fought innumerable battles for the consumer with the telephone department, banks, Indian Airlines and several other institutions.
He was an honorary secretary of the All-India Bank Depositors’ Association, through which he published the book Depositors’ Rights and Customer Service in Banks which provided the customer of a bank with information required to deal with the various problems faced by them.
The Reader’s Digest featured Pai on the cover of its October 1995 issue under the title “M R Pai – Champion of the Consumer”.
He has written several books like, An Indian Economic Miracle and Other Essays (1970), How to Arrange Programmes and Meetings, How to Save and Invest, Time Management and The Legend of Nani Palkhivala (2002).
Pai was closely associated with the legendary Nani Palkhivala and in January 2002, he authored the book “The Legend of Nani Palkhivala”. He donated the amount of Rs 6 lakh received as royalty from the book to various organizations with which the late Palkhivala was associated.
After Pai passed away, an annual award in his memory was constituted to be given to any consumer activist or journalist or organizations in the field of consumerism.