The story goes back to March 1979. The conference of ‘Brihanmaharashtra Mandal’ was held in Baroda which was attended to by Shri Waman Ganesh Marathe from Mumbai and Narayan Balkrushna Marathe from Calcutta. The two Maharashtrians, one of them residing in other than the home state, were meeting in a third state and as such both were unaware of each others’ identities. However on knowing each other to be sharing same surname ‘Marathe’, their joy knew no limits. A special bond got established between them. It was but natural under the circumstances. The feeling developed into a concept of providing a platform to all ‘Marathe’s to come together and share such joyous moments.
On return to Mumbai, Va.Ga (as people used to lovingly call him) put forth this concept to the then Director of ‘Marathe Udyog’ Shri. Suresh Marathe (Sureshbhau as everyone called him). He readily upheld the idea. The success and progress of any institution depends on the financial strength and here a strong industrial house had backed the idea…………… so the success was sort of guaranteed. The next thing to do was to decide on the format of the institution. Consultations with Shri. Sharad Marathe, a senior official high up in the Government Service, zeroed in on formation of a ‘Trust’.
With an eye on having a wider base, Va. Ga. visited Goa since Na.Ba. had many contacts in Goa and Shri. Kalidas Balkrushna (Ka.Ba.) was providing the network to connect many in Goa. The respected personalities of ‘Marathe clan’ met at the residence of Kalidasji at Dharbandoda in Goa and a managing committee of Goa chapter came into being. A meeting at ‘Marathe Udyog’ office in Prabhadevi Mumbai was called in August 1979 which finalized the formation of ‘Marathe Pratishthan’ as a trust under Public Trust Act and the decision was conveyed to the known Marathes. A gathering of Marathes was scheduled to be held at Goa on 26, 27 Jan 1980 as a prelude to formation of the Pratishthan. For preparations for the said grand gathering two meetings were held at residences at Mulgav and Veling of Parshuram Divakar and Mohan Balkrushna respectively. The official declaration of formation of the Pratishthan came during the gathering on 26, 27 Jan 1980.
Subsequently a standing committee was formed to design the ‘Constitution’ and ‘Manual’ of the Pratishthan. The constitution was unanimously adapted vide a meeting in October 1980. The only formality left was registration with ‘Charity Commissioner of Mumbai’ under the ‘Public Trust Act’. The herculean efforts of Sureshbhau, Va.Ga, Na.Ba, and Ka.Ba. bore fruits and finally this last hurdle was also overcome on 12th Jan 1981 and the legal entity called ‘Marathe Pratishthan’ was finally born. Needless to say, the registered office of the Pratishthan was ‘Marathe Udyog Bhavan’ proudly standing on the road named after Industrialist father of Sureshbhau, Late. Shri. Appasaheb Marathe, at Prabhadevi, Mumbai.
The Pratishthan includes, apart from the surname 'Marathe', other surnames like ‘Chakradev’, ‘Fadnis’, ‘Jaeel’, ‘Joshi’, ‘Khambete’, ‘Ratate’ and ‘Vidwans’ as all these people originally had surname Marathe which was changed over time due to some reason or other. Thus all the persons having any of these surnames are collectively referred to as ‘Marathe’s.
It will be injustice, not to mention some other names who had been ‘Strong Pillars’ of the Pratishthan. To name a few, Vinayak Govind alias Bhausaheb Marathe, his wife Maltibai Marathe, Madhavrao Narayan (Ma.Na.) Marathe from Dombivali, Sadashiv Gopal Joshi of Thane, Prabhakar Dattatray Marathe of Chinchwad, Mohanrao Marathe from Khar, Vinayak Keshav Marathe from Worli, Sitaram Khambete of Andheri and later Laxamn Shankar Marathe. All these persons have taken much pains in
publishing the Kulvruttant (a genealogical record of various Marathe Families),
making various activities of the Pratishthan a grand success,
in publishing of the Pratishthan mouthpiece ‘Hitguj’,
and in overall development of the Pratishthan to help it reach the present stage it is in.