Shakuntala Paranjpye – Honoree of the Padma Bhushan Award for her Pioneering Contributions in the area of Family Planning


Shakuntala Paranjpye

Quick Facts

  • Name: Shakuntala Paranjpye
  • Famous As: Social Worker, Writer and Actress
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Birth Date: 17 January 1906 (Murdi, Maharashtra)
  • Died On: 3 May 2000
  • Awards: Padma Bhushan (1991)


When it comes to one of the most profound writers in history, Shakuntala Paranjpye was a dedicated Indian Social worker and a noted writer. She was also one of the most famous film actresses in Maharashtra. In lieu of her outstanding achievements, the Government of India accredited her with prestigious Padma Bhushan Award in the year 1991. Since her inception in 1938, she was known as an extensive contributor in the field of family planning.

Shakuntala Paranjpye was also nominated as the member of Rajya Sabha during the timeline 1964-70. She was an active member of Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1958 to the year 1964.

Early Life

Shakuntala Paranjpye is the daughter of Mr R. P. Paranjpye. Her father was an Indian ambassador to Australia, an educationist as well as an administrator. He was also the first ever Indian origin individual to get the title of Senior Wrangler from Cambridge University. Shakuntala obtained a diploma from London University as well, also a master of Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Professional Life

When she turned to a social worker, Shakuntala Paranjpye worked extensively in the international labour department in Switzerland’s Geneva during early 1930. After her time in Geneva, she switched to the cinema and started acting. When it comes to acting, she acted in both Hindi as well as Marathi movies.

One of her most prominent work is “Duniya Na Mane”, it was directed by the legendary director V. Shantaram. An author of an array of best-selling books, Shakuntala Paranjpye is famous for her Marathi Novels, sketches as well as plays. She had published various English books as well.

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Acting Career

Her most prominent Acting works were Ganga Maiyya in 1955, Ramshastri in 1944, Jawani Ka Rang in 1941, Stree in 1938, Partha Kumar in 1934, Bhedi Rajkumar & Bhakta Prahlad in 1934. Sairandhri and Kali Waghan released in 1933 & 1935 respectively were the most loved works of hers amidst a wide range of Marathi audience.

Personal Life

Her first marriage was not that successful, she was married to a Russian painter Mr Y. Sleptzoff for a mere span of a year. The couple went on having a daughter namely Sai Paranjpye in the year 1938. After the birth of her daughter, Shakuntala Paranjpye divorced her husband and went on delivering roles of both, dedicated mother and father respectively.

Her daughter, Sai Paranjpye is a well-known director in the Hindi film industry of the country. She is also an acclaimed screenwriter, Sai Paranjpye is most famous for her works in children movies as well as comedy movies. Just like Shakuntala Paranjpye, Sai Paranjpye received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award from Government of India.

A Zeal of Doing Something Unique

Shakuntala Paranjpye had a zeal to pursue unique endeavours considering the era she was in. She tried acting, writing and was actively engaged in Social work at ground level. Women like her inspire us to get our priorities sorted and work harder. Shakuntala Paranjpye had authored “Desh-Videshichya”, this is one of the most famous Marathi publishing of hers. She had also written an English novel with the name “Sense & Nonsense” which was published during the year 1970.

Her artistic talents helped her in achieving the dreams & getting the Padma Bhushan Award as well. There was a movie with the name of “Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo”, the movie was an adaption of one of her child literature, the movie was released in the year 2003 in India.


Written By: Milan Bhardwaj


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