Daring, Dynamic, Different - Sandhya Pai, Journalist Extraordinaire

Feb 23, 2008
Support & Pics Kishoo Barkur

A role model to young aspiring female journalists, she is undoubtedly a daring and a dynamic journalist in Kannada print and electronic media. Though her basic interest is television (serial production), she is the only woman editor who manages three leading Kannada periodicals as editor.

Meet Sandhya Pai, a journalist par excellence who has made an indelible mark in the field of Kannada media. She has a prestigious background, hailing from the renowned Pai family of Manipal, and her calibre and achievements have only added another feather in her family's brimming cap.

Manipal Media Network has created big name in the state through their various print journals and electronic media. Her husband Satish U Pai, is the managing director of this huge group, an equally dynamic personality and intelligent brain who took the Manipal Media Network to greater heights.

In today's world, journalism is a challenging field, and one needs to be alert throughout to stay ahead of the rest. In the women's world, though there are plenty of young talents coming up, very few have dynamism. But Sandhya Pai has proved her worth by managing three periodicals. Taranga weekly, the no 1 Kannada weekly has a huge circulation and has been enjoying a special place in the hearts of the readers for several years. TUSHARA monthly is a completely literary magazine, and ROOPATARA, a monthly cine magazine. Her editing skills also come to the fore with special supplements of UDAYAVANI daily and TUNTURU the children's fortnightly. She has proved her creative talents, administrative efficiency and executive skill and endeared herself to the reading public within a short period of her entry into the print media .

Walter Nandalike, editor-in-chief of Daijiworld had the opportunity to meet the dynamic lady at her office in Manipal recently and ask her the secret of her success. She had a very simple answer, which indeed showed her greatness - 'Its team work, I am not alone responsible for this role. I have a well-organized and dedicated team. The secret of my success is my team" said the down-to-earth Sandhya Pai.

'Television serial production is my favorite field. I have produced hit serials which have run successfully for more than a year in Kannada TV channels like ETV.' She proved her mettle in her very first venture in the electronic media. She has written and directed the 252 episodes of 'Bidige Chandrama', a tele serial which was telecast on ETV Kannada. Her serials 'Bidige Chandrma' and 'Guptagamini' have bagged an astonishing eight awards instituted by 'Aryabhata' cultural organization.

'I want to portray real family stories through my serials. Serials should be watched by the entire family sitting together,' she says thoughtfully.

Sandhya Pai has an enduring interest in embroidery and Indian continental cuisine. She has an insatiable curiosity for new things and spirit of enquiry, two virtues that set apart an extroordinary journalist from the rest. She has a scientific and analytical mind which integrates contemporary developments and social concerns. She has wide and frequent interactions with the best in various fields including world travel and print technology. All these coupled with her rich and varied experiences in different fields have contributed immensely to the enrichment and popularity of her publications.

Her thought-provoking editorial column on Taranga Weekly 'Priya Oduga' is indeed loved by every reader. The column contains healthy and relevant thoughts from Vedanta, the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgeeta, Yoga, Tantra and Zen. Her extensive reading, exhaustive study, long years of experience and wide knowledge have contributed to the deep and meaningful editorials.

Apart from being an ace journalist, she is also a conscientious social worker. She has a very strong place in her heart for the cause of women. She fights for the rights of women, especially women deprived of social rights. She is the president pf Manipal Mahila Samaj, has actively participated in the women's awareness programmes and readily responded to the inner emotional cries of women.

Sandhya Pai has won several prestigious awards for her contributions to the entertainment industry, journalism and social achievements. Some of them are as follows: 

  • 'Attimabbe award' for her remarkable contribution to journalism. She is the first woman in this field to be conferred with this honour.
  • PR Person of the year 2003 award, for her creative talents, administrative efficiency and executive skills.
  • Sadhana award for her tremendous work in various fields conferred by Swatishri Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji, Shravanabelogala (2005).
  • Karnataka Media Academy award 2006 for her laudable achievements in the field of journalism.
  • 'Shreemata' award by Sri Ramachandra Muth, Hosanagar in 2007.

Sandhya Pai is also the inspiration behind the progressive ideas of her son Gautam Pai who is the executive director of Manipal Media Network Ltd, managing the Manipal press.

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Comment on this article

  • Yashaswini Shankar, Karnad

    Thu, Jul 12 2018

    Sandya Mami is such a great inspiration whom I always follow through her works. Her writings make me gloom more and more as a writer. I never miss a opportunity to read her article ,interview anything. She made me opt my ambition that to be in her path.. And I'm trying to be writer as her who motivates female group of writers. Thank you Mam for such an amazing motivational personality

  • Rajeswari Nanjundaiya, Bangalore

    Wed, May 07 2014

    The first time I met Mrs. Sandhya Pai was in my house in Brussels, Belgium in the late seventies where my husband was posted to the Indian Embassy to Brussels, Belgium. It then struck to me that she came across as an inspirational person with a hidden dynamism. I knew that that she will go a long way for the betterment of the women via Journalism. The toughest challenge for any journalist is to keep ahead in the ever changing information over load situation. Her magazines indicate that they are always slightly ahead of the crowd. This makes it very very interesting. Managing 3 periodicals is a tough call and Sandhya Pai has managed them extremely well. Who does not know Taranga weekly, TUSHARA monthly and ROOPATARA. Children love her Tuntura. She gives new meaning to the words creativity, efficiency and has reader friendly followers. Rajeswari Nanjundaiya

  • sanjeeva rai, mangalore

    Wed, Oct 06 2010


    One of the important cities in the world will witness the arrival of aliens with distinctive characteristics appearance, world will have terrible trembling impact with the arrival of
    Alines from the outer space in future there is a possibility of extraordinary human race will evolve. Due to the influence of this new human race there will be total change in the life style of human beings. There will be total change in the transportation sector and new Un-imaginable type of transport system will arrive. They will bring Ultra modern technology to the earth by which we will be able to know the visuals of the historical incidents. From planet “KOHILO”, new aliens named “PERALA” will arrive with extraordinary type Ultra modern vehicle “PREMELA”, who use to travel the entire universe. Never ending wonderful Unimaginable story script ready to deliver
    (story written in kannada language)

  • samartha.sgr, sagar

    Mon, Sep 27 2010

    Tunturu is best childrens story book.  I like it

  • dony lobo, doha - qatar, Milagres mangalore

    Mon, Feb 25 2008

    I felt that every budding writer, be young or older, has a lot to learn from the great interview by Mr.Walter Nandalike with Ms.Sandhya Pai. In simple layman's language it was a "Sangam" a holy meeting place of two great rivers of talents one the brain behind the present day leading Kannada magazines and the other Konkany's dare-devil writer turned enterpreneur-and founder of Daijiworld, the most popular website of our community…and both of them are unique personalities who have proved themselves to be creative talents, blessed with immense administrative efficiency and executive skills.

     It's a known fact that every member of the community – (irrespective of any religion or caste or community or even economic status) but born and brought up not only in the Coastal District of Karnataka but who may have migrated to far away lands in search of decent livelihoods……but still love to read Udayavani, TARANGA , TUSHARA , ROOPATARA or TUNTURU. I have known families living as far away as Chennai, Mumbai, Calcutta or New Delhi and many other far off places in India but even aborad who will do anything to get a copy of Udayavani and/or other magazines to their homes or any shop within their reach wherever they live.

    I am sure this wouldn't have been possible but for the dynamic leadership that is behind these magazines which have made them part and parcel of our cultural heritage…. ….and equally brilliant is the brainchild of Walter Nandalike, who by creating this wonderful website., has made the whole world as "Our Home and Neighbourhood" Going through the Daijiworld website, especially its Sandesh site or F2F site, one can realize that just everyone and everyone's views on any subject get exposure and recognition in Daijiworld no matter even if someone hails from an unknown village of Pilikumeri or Mayyadi or Karandadi, or from a posh background of Udipi or Mangalore, or from the oil-rich shores of Arabian Gulf or even those settled in far off lands like Canada or New Zealand.

    Daijiworld makes no difference between religions or politics., nor restrict its website space only for the chosen few of one or two families like some other sites tend to do…..For the last 5-6 years that I myself have been addicted to Daijiworld, I must admit that it has been always fair to one and all. And it is also great that the site has brought to the public's glare so many great and hidden talents young as well as old in varying fields which would have remained for ever as sparkling Diamonds hidden under the earth's under-ground crust for thousands of years !!!

    I do hope all the Daijiworld followers will join me to Wish Walter very Hearty Congratulations …And all the best for the future……..in his dedicated Mission….May God Bless Him, his family and children, the great parents who bore him as a son and one and all the members of the Daijiworld team…Long Live Daijiworld!!!!

  • Star Kuwait, Mukka/Kuwait

    Mon, Feb 25 2008

    I agree with Max. I am an ardent fan of Taranga, specially Sandhya Pai, she is certainly par excellent writer and thinker. Thanks to Kishoo and Walty for this profile with article.

  • Max, Mangalore / Italy

    Sat, Feb 23 2008

    I so much used to enjoy her editorials on 'Taranga' - Very creative, very inspirational, extemely wise. I really missed them thereafter. I thought she was the best in the business. Hats of to Sadhya Pai.

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