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Smita Thackeray

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Smita Thackeray
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Native nameस्मिता ठाकरे
BornMumbai, Maharashtra, India
OccupationFilm Producer, Philanthropist
Years active  1997-present
Spouse(s)Jaidev Thackeray (1986-2004) (Divorced)
ChildrenRahul Thackeray.
Aaishvary Thackeray
Parent(s)Madhukar Chitre
Kunda Chitre
RelativesBal Thackeray [1] (Father-in-Law)
Meenatai Thackeray (Mother-in-Law)

Smita Thackeray is a Social activist and Film producer. She is the chairperson and founder of Rahul Productions and Mukkti Foundation. she has worked in the field of Women's Safety , HIV/AIDS awareness and Education. She ventured into Motion pictures with Haseena Maan Jaayegi which was released in June 1999, grossing 27 crores worldwide, after which she has gone on to work in Hindi and Marathi Film and Television Industry.

Early life[edit]

Smita Thackeray was born on 17th August [2] to a Middle-class Maharashtrian family in Mumbai. Her parents are Madhukar Chitre and Kunda Chitre. She attended Chhabildas Girl's High School, Dadar. As a child she was trained in Marathi Classical singing. She completed her Bachelor’s in Science (BSc), with Honors from Ruparel College, Mumbai, with Botany as a major.


She started out at the Centuar Hotel on a small stipend, where she handled administrative and managerial tasks [3] Her interest in Fashion translated to NARI boutique. She went on to be the Founder and Chairperson of Mukkti Foundation in 1997. She is the owner of Rahul Productions. She was formerly the President of the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association[4] from 2002-2004 [5][6]. During her time in IMPPA, she started a conversation around ethical screening of Films and Content on television and other media post release.[7] She is also the Founder/ Ex-Managing Director of Magic Cloud.

Philanthropy through Mukkti Foundation[edit]

Hon' Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee receives a cheque from Smita Thackeray for drought victims of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Smita Thackeray's aim in setting up Mukkti foundation was to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS [8] and to eradicate the menace of Drug Abuse among the youth. Between July 1999 to May 2000 Mukkti raised funds for various causes through Celebrity cricket and football matches, Rs 5 lakhs was contributed for the Gujarat cyclone relief fund (1998), Rs 50 Lakhs was contributed for bereaved indian soldiers of kargil war, Rs 41 Lakhs was contributed for the drought victims of Rajasthan and Gujrat. [9][10] Between 1998 and 2008, Mukkti Foundation hosted its Annual AIDS Show to mark “World AIDS Day”, where Film Stars and other celebrities joined hands to spread the message of AIDS Awareness.

Smita Thackeray on the Set of the Red Ribbon Show

In November 2000, a 13 episode Television chat show hosted by Sonu Nigam on HIV/AIDS was aired, it was aimed at overthrowing the social stigmas around HIV/AIDS by facilitating interactions between individuals affected by HIV. In 2003, three public service announcements[11] were produced staring star celebrities, Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman and Akshay Kumar, to educate people about the misconceptions around AIDS. One lakh pledges were collected to support the cause of an AIDS free life in 2009 under the campaign "I Pledge" with John Abraham as ambassador.[12] In 2014, Me Mukti Marshals, trained individuals to support Police and RPF were deployed in Mumbai trains at night to protect women in Mumbai travelling in local trains.[13]

The Foundation was recognised for its work by WHO in December 2002 in their newsletter - Window on SEAR, (The Newsletter of the South-East Asian office) which stated - "In a few years, Mukti, has earned a reputation for doing genuine work for society and has earned much respect"

On 1st December 2018, Smita Thackeray, along with stars Sunny Leone, Nisha Harale, Rohit Verma headed a 'Freedom Parade' in solidarity with the LGBTQ community who suffer the most stigma around HIV/AIDS, it was a move to spread awareness among all communities.[14]

Presidency of IMPPA[edit]

Smita Thackeray in 2001 was elected as the first female president of IMPPA.[15] Video piracy was a major issue that was killing revenue of all the producers, she facilitated an MOU between Film Producers and Cable Tv associations in December 2001 saving the filmmakers Rs 1 crore daily an amount lost to producers due to illegal telecasting [16][17] For the first time in the history of IMPPA a star studded fundraiser was hosted by the association called Ehsaas 2002 to raise funds for medical and education centres for spot boys and light men[18]. In 2004, Indian Producers were invited to Switzerland by The Swiss Consulate to Promote Film Making, as a sign of welcome for the Indian Cinema by the Swiss President, Mr Joseph Deiss. [19] [20]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • Indian Motion Picture Producers Association presented an Appreciation award at the 69th Annual General Meeting on 16th September 2008. [21]
  • Awarded by the Film Federation of India for her Significant Contribution to the Growth of Film Industry of India on January 19, 2008.
  • LR Active Oil presented Women’s Prerna Award for immense contribution in Social Service and Politics to India Society in 2013.[22]
  • AmpleMission presented the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation award in 2017 for the Best Social Activist.
  • HEX World presented the News Makers Achievement 2010 for social contribution [23]

Personal life[edit]

Smita Thackeray is the daughter of Madhukar Chitre and Kunda Chitre. She has two sisters Swati and Sushma. She grew up in a middle class family in suburban Mumbai. She married Jaidev Thackeray, son of Bal Thackeray in 1986 and they got divorced in 2004[24], she continued to stay in her In-laws home 'Matoshree'. She has two sons Rahul Thackeray her eldest and Aaishvary Thackeray her youngest. Rahul and Aishvary, graduated from American School of Bombay. Rahul went on graduate from Toronto Film School and is currently a Marathi and Hindi film writer/director [25] [26] and filmmaker.


Films produced under Rahul Productions[edit]

Hindi motion pictures[edit]

Hindi television shows[edit]

  • Red Ribbon Show (1999) Star TV
  • Khel (2000) Sony TV
  • Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Dhoom (2004) Star Plus

Marathi television shows[edit]

  • Jhep(ETV Marathi)
  • Bhagyavidhatha (ETV Marathi)
  • Vahini Saheb (Zee Marathi)
  • Ya Sukhano Ya (Zee Marathi)
  • Kulaswamini (Star Prawah)
  • Khel Mandla (Me Marathi)
  • Paarijaat (Saam TV)
  • Done Kinare Doghe Apan (Star Prawah)

Marathi motion pictures[edit]

  • R.A.A.D.A. Rocks (2011)

Films distributed by Magic Cloud[edit]


  1. Purandare, Vaibhav (2012). Bal Thackeray & The Rise of The Shiv Sena. India: Roli Books. ISBN 9788174369581. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  2. "Ayushmann Khurrana, Darshan Kumaar and many celebs at Smita Thackeray's birthday". PINKVILLA. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. "From receptionist to powerful socialite, Smita Thackeray has come a long way". India Today. India Today. 30 November 1999. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  4. "Smita Thackeray has a plan. Or three - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  5. "Smita Thackeray elected president of Film Federation of India". India Today. 17 December 2001. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  6. "Smita Thackeray re-elected Impaa president - Times of India". The Times of India. Times of India. 22 September 2002. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  7. "Smita Thackeray for strict action on piracy - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  8. Thackeray, Smita (1 December 2017). "'Let's spread the word, not the disease': Smita Thackeray's open letter for World AIDS Day". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  9. "Smita Thackeray presents Cheque for Prime Ministers Releif Fund". The Indian Express. The Indian Express. 19 June 2000.
  10. "Actors, cricketers play football to raise fund for Kargil martyrs". India Today. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  11. Afsana Ahmed (21 February 2003). "Bollywood battles AIDS - Times of India". The Times of India. The Times of India. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  12. "John joins anti-AIDS movement - Times of India". The Times of India. The Time of India (Entertainment Times). 27 November 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  13. "Trained women to fight offenders in local trains". Deccan Chronicle. Deccan Chronicle. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  14. "Freedom Parade on World AIDS Day witnesses celebrity participation". Times of India. Dec 2, 2018.
  15. "Smita Thackeray is new IMPPA president - Times of India". The Times of India. Times of India. 23 September 2001. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  16. February 11, Himanshi Dhawan; February 11, 2002 ISSUE DATE:; September 4, 2002UPDATED:; Ist, 2012 17:49. "Bal Thackeray's daughter-in-law Smita Thackeray helps filmmakers save Rs 1 crore daily". India Today. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  17. Afsana Ahmed; Smrity Sharma (19 August 2002). "Smita Thackeray has a plan. Or three - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  18. TNN (6 May 2002). "Shaking a leg for bollywood's sake - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  19. "The Hindu Business Line : More countries wooing Bollywood to lure tourists". www.thehindubusinessline.com. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  20. "The Hindu : Producers' paradise". www.thehindu.com. The Hindu. 17 October 2003. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  21. "IMPPA Awards". photogallery.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  22. "Women's Prerna Awards'13". photogallery.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  23. Hungama, Bollywood (2010-05-04). "Smita Thackeray received Newsmakers Achievers Awards 2010 | Parties & Events - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  24. "Defiant daughter-in-law adds to Sena woes". www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  25. Deepali S Dhingra. "Why it's films for this Thackeray grandson" (Bombay Times). The Times of India.
  26. "BT Exclusive: Smita Thackeray's son Rahul to direct biopic on Bal Thackeray titled 'Saheb' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 August 2018.

External links[edit]

Category:Living people Category:Film producers from Mumbai Category:Hindi film producers Category:Indian film distributors

Category:Marathi film producers

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