Padmashri Dr. Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil
Padmashri Dr. Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, the pioneer of Sugar Co-operative movement, who had a humble beginning, was chiefly instrumental in, organizing the much exploited sugarcane ‘growers of the 44 villages, in and around Pravaranagar, way back in 1948, and establishing Asia’s first co-operative sugar factory, which was commissioned in 1950. Born in a farmers family at Loni in 1901, he was distressed by the pitiable plight of the poor, the illiterate and the downtrodden peasantry who were exploited by the money-lenders, feudal lords, and private sugar factory owners.
To realize the visionary thoughts, his worthy son-Hon’ble Shri. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Ex Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, established “Dr. Vikhe Patil Foundation”. While working for the economic prosperity of the farmers, Vittahalrao was also conscious of the needs of their children, especially that of quality education. It was not long before he once again used his co-operative mantra to ensure the direct participation of the farmers in this project. The farmers contributed towards the education fund from every tonne of the sugarcane sent to the factory. Vittahalrao was conferred the Padmashri in 1962, D. Litt. by Pune University in 1978 and D. Sc. by Mahatma Phule Agriculture University in 1979. Soon enough, Pravara Rural Education Society was established.
Dr. Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil the great soul departed, but left behind glowing light and energy, with endless spirit and tremendous potential of development in his son Late Shri Eknathrao “Balasaheb” Vikhe Patil, who broadened the base of Economic Revolution.
Dr. E.V. alias Balasaheb Vikhe Patil
Dr. E.V.alias Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, worthy son of Late Dr.Vithalrao Vikhe Patil, a leader of reckoning in Maharashtra State, Member of Parliament for over two decades took upon himself the arduous task of translating the dreams of his father into concrete realities by meticulous, punctilious planning and by offering dynamic and pragmatic leadership to the Society.
The mission of Pravara Medical Trust established in 1972 by Dr. Vithalrao Vikhe Patil, was further strengthened by Dr. E.V.alias Balasaheb Vikhe Patil by establishment of “Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University) by Provision of state of the art Medical education to the people of this remote rural area, was added upon to the comprehensive quality health care model.
His legacy is ably continued by the subsequent generations. Led by his illustrious son Dr. Ashok Vikhe Patil, the first Indian to become a President of International Association of agricultural Medicine and Rural Health (IAAMRH) are actively carrying on the grand work. During the last four decades PIMS – Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences , Padmashri Vikhe Patil Foundation & Dr. Vikhe Patil Foundation Pune have flourished as value-centred educational institutions.