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Architecture of Modern Maharashtra – Late Vasantrao Naik
He was born on 1st July, 1913 in the small village Gahuli in Yavatmal District. His father Fulsing Naik and mother Hunaki Mata were very religious. In that village primary school was not there, so he went for his education in the other nearby village. He learned there so many good things like leadership and good thinking.

In those days education was rare in the villages. But education is important for everyone’s progress. So Fulsing Naik thought that man should get education and for that what can we do ? His father used to say Vasantrao, you should open the school with hostel for the backward classes. So Vasantrao Naik established ‘Janata Shikshan Prasarak Mandal’ in Pusad. Mandal is now running Primary Schools, High Schools, Engineering College, Institute of Pharmacy, Junior and Senior college of Arts, Commerce and Science. He had started many kinds of Vocational courses too. In this way Naik completed the dream of his father. His social work for the backward classes was quiet memorable.

He participated in political field from 1951 to 52. He got every kind of political steps and respects by his intelligence. At first he elected as M.L.A. and then he selected as Minister of the Cabinet. He was the first Chief Minister of backward classes. He ruled 13 years as a Chief Minister of Maharashtra. In his ministerial life he developed Maharashtra in every field. He used to say Maharashtra is my state. He did not believe in castes.

He was a person of simple living and high thinking. He thought about farmers and their hardship life. The farmer is an owner of agriculture but he can’t decide the price of his goods. No one can give him good price. So we should do something proper for his progress. He decided to establish co-operative society especially in Vidarbha. Many societies were running co-operative sugar factories, cotton mills. One sugar factory is in Pophali and one cotton mill is in Pusad. He wandered throughout in Maharashtra to collect people and gathered helping hands. He brought a new variety of Jowar in Maharashtra. He sanctioned many dams for irrigation. He made many rules and regulations for development of Maharashtra. His slogan was ‘Kasel Tyachi Jamin’. So he brought the low of selling of land. He started workers guarantee scheme. Cotton is a white gold of Vidarbha so the Government of Maharshtra decided to purchase the cotton of the farmers. Under co-operative system they could got a lot of profit. He gave the land to the landless people. He started state transport co-operation for suitable traveling. He gave drinking water scheme in every village. House to houseless and the land to the landless was his motto.

He had dedicated his all life for the progress of backward classes and community. He worked hard for the people of Maharashtra and gave them every opportunity in every field. He was an architecture of modern Maharashtra.

Written by: Ku. Archana Mahadeo Chavhan, M.A. (Sanskrit) B.Ed., P.O. Pohradevi, Tq. Manora, Dist. Washim, Maharashtra.