Speech of Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim, Shri Shriniwas Patil on the occasion of Biennial get-together of Pravarites at Pravarnagar, Maharashtra on 27th October, 2013.
Hon’ble Padma Bhushan Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Chairman of the “Pravara Rural Education Society, Hon’ble Namdar Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, President of PRAVARITES, Suresh Athare, Secretary, Dnyandeo Sangale and Dr. Viraj Dhasal, Joint Secretaries, Dear friends and Members of PRAVARITES.
It is a great pleasure to be with you in this biennial get together of PRAVARITES, the Alumni Association of Pravara Public School. It is indeed heartening to note that today I am amongst illustrious former students of Pravara Public School, who are achievers in diverse fields and have contributed so much to the State and the Country. A day like this is very important as it gives the alumni opportunity to meet each other, their former teachers and other staff. It gives you an opportunity to relive the pleasant memories of your teenage days.
This is also an appropriate opportunity today to remember and pay our respects to Padmashri Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil (Appa), the pioneer of co-operative movement and the founder of the first co-operative sugar factory in the country (1949). It was his zeal and visionary efforts that led to the establishment of Pravara Public School in 1964 by “Pravara Rural Education Society” to provide high quality education comparable to the best in any urban area to students of rural areas for their empowerment. It is in a true sense a public school founded by farmers.
In its early days, under the vigilant eyes of Padmashri Dr. Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, the Pravara Rural Education Society started its rapid growth and began to play a key role to meet the diversified educational needs of people of Maharashtra in general and Pravaranagar in particular. While Pravara Public School and Pravara Kanya Vidya Mandir were getting on their feet, Dr. Patil also set about the task of starting Marathi Medium Schools and covered all the forty villages in and around Pravaranagar. It was his firm conviction that with quality education rural youth too could play a strong role in Nation building. He also strongly believed in the education of girl child and the upliftment of women.
We must appreciate the vision and missionary zeal of Padmashri Dr. Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil which have transformed the lives of the people of Pravarnagar. In an age where education was the exclusive domain of a few well endowed people, he succeeded in making it available to the common man. I am also glad that Hon’ble Padma Bhushan Balasaheb Vikhe Patil is following in his footsteps and continuing his legacy as Chairman of the Pravara Rural Education Society. Hon’ble Namdar Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil is also providing his dynamic leadership and guidance to the Society and is the President of the PRAVARITES.
Since its inception, Pravara Public School has made rapid strides and in 1971 became a full-fledged member of the Indian Public Schools’ Conference (IPSC). Today Pravara Public School is one of the best in the Country. A very large number of old students of this School are well placed in fields as diverse as Medicine, Engineering, Agricultural Science, Education, Government Service, Business Administrative services, Politics, Engineering, Science, Agriculture, Defence services and entrepreneurship in India and abroad.
I have seen how education has transformed the lives of our farmers. In my tenure as a civil servant in various capacities at Sangamner, District Ahmednagar, from 1969 to 1975, I have been closely associated with this Institute.
I am informed that the Alumni association of the School “PRAVARITES”, which consists of 3904 members out of whom 1404 are life members, is a very vibrant association. By holding Biennial get-togethers at the School and annual get-togethers at various places in the State, it is helping to keep the vision and ideals of its Institution’s founders alive. The Alumni with well placed members in society are also transferring these ideas all over the State and Country.
I must appreciate each and every one of you for finding time to be here in this Alumni meet. It takes a lot of sacrifice to set aside time out of your busy schedules and come over to such a function. However, it is always worth the sacrifice to be able to come back to your alma mater and share memories and renew your bonds to the school and with one another. It is with your support that Institutions such as this are kept alive.
As I come to a close, I would like to reiterate the role you play in the wider society. Most of you hold key positions of influence. I would appreciate to see that you use the influence to direct the development of our society and the world positively. As ambassadors of the School, PRAVARITES should always endeavor to uphold good morals and act as an inspiration to the society, and carry the message and values of its founding fathers.
I wish you all the best and your biennial get together a grand success.