Vasantrao Naik: The Maker of Modern Maharashtra.
A true son of the soil, Sri. Vasantrao Naik was born in the small village of Gahuli, Yavatmal to a father Phoolsing and mother Haunaki Naik on 1st July, 1913. Gauhali, his birthplace, was a poor village lacking in the basic facilities and even primary education. However, the young, bright and ambitious man willingly moved to various nearby places in his quest to acquire education. His heart and soul were focused and dedicated towards the development of individual spirit and the benefit to society. It was with this indomitable spirit that he established, “Janta Shiskshan Prasarak Mandal” in Pusad. The Janta Shikshan Prasarak Mandal focuses on educating the natives from Primary Levels to the Higher Education in all most all the branches of knowledge.
Vasantrao, also known by his friends as V.P., entered the arena of politics in early 1951. His humble beginnings coupled with his strong perseverance saw a long and steady political progression in his career. He rose from a simple MLA to the Chief Minister of the State. His unique innings of almost a decade and half as a Chief Minister gave him an opportunity to lay down a strong foundation of today’s Modern Maharashtra. The credit of one of the most developed state in India goes to Late V.P.
Late Sri. Naik was an agriculturist to the core. Since, he himself was from an agricultural background, he was aware of the plight of the farmer. He wanted to change their gloomy picture and so focused strongly on the farming sector. In fact he was the first promoter of the Co-operative sector as an agent of rural growth in Maharashtra. He is known as the the originator of the idea of, “kasel tyachi jamin” which means that the land will belong to one who cultivates it.
Late Sri. V. P. Naik was instrumental in the creation of the necessary socio-political atmosphere and physical infrastructure for the growth of the agricultural sector. He never forgot his upbringing and so kept keen interest in developing agricultural sector. His heart was aflame with the desire to develop the agricultural sector. He always had a focus on rural Maharashtra especially for the welfare of the farmers in the state.
The year 1968 saw the tragic end of this great man as he breathed his last at Singapore.