Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil: A Visionary Educationist and Social Reformer

by Oct 29, 2023


People believe that,

Education is the backbone of every nation!

There is no need to tell the importance of education to educated people, but have you ever met person who himself uneducated but still knows importance of education. Moreover he became reason to educate countless marginalized and underprivileged children. I am speaking about a person who is none other than Dr. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil.

Dr. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil was a prominent educationist and social reformer. He founded the ‘Rayat Shikshan Sanstha’ in Satara. He lifted this institution having thought that no children should remain uneducated In rural areas. He inspired children to work and pursue education through his initiative called ‘Kamva Ani Shika’ (Earn and Learn).

Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil
Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil

Brief Information

Social Reformer and Educationist
Bhau and Anna
Date of Birth
September 22, 1887
Place of Birth
Mother: Gangabai, Father: Paigaunda Devgaunda Patil
3rd Class Primary Education

Founded following Institutes, Colleges, Hostels, and Highschools:

  • Institute called Rayat Shikshan Santha in Kale village of Satara district – October 4, 1919
  • Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Boarding House – February 25, 1927
  • Silver Jubilee Rural Training College– 1935
  • On the method of Earn and Learn, Free and Residential Secondary School which named as Maharaja Sayajirao High School – 1940
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji College at Satara – 1947
  • Sadguru Gadage Maharaj College – 1954
  • For training educators, Aazad College of Education at Satara – 1955
Degrees and Award
  • Marathi people gave him a title of Karmaveer which means Hero of work or king of work due to his social work and contributions
  • In year 1959, Pune University honored him with D. Lit. (Doctor of Literature)

  • Central government honored him with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award
71 years
Date of Death
May 9, 1959
Place of Death
Sassoon Hospital, Pune district, Maharashtra

Birth and Family

Bhaurao Patil was born on September 22, 1887 at Kumbhoj in Kolhapur. But his native village is Aitwade Budruk in Sangli district. Name of his mother was Gangabai and his father was Paigaunda Patil.

Born in a farmer Jain family, Bhaurao was known as Bhau when was a child. When he grew up, he was respectfully addressed as Bhaurao. Bhaurao had three brothers named as Tatya, Balgonda alias Balwant, Badendra alias Bandu and two sisters Dwarkabai and Tarabai.

His father Paigounda Patil passed the civil examination and was employed as a clerk in the revenue department of the East India Company. Mother Gangabai was a housewife.

Early Life

When Paigaunda Patil goes to work, Gangabai had to stay in the hut. Therefore, since Bhaurao was young, he had to stay at his grandhome i.e. Kumbhoj for security reasons.

His two ancestors Nemagounda and Shantangounda were Pithacharyas of the Jain Math at Nandani and Digambarpanthi Jain Munis. Therefore, Bhaurao also had ascetic attitude and rebellious attitude against injustice from childhood.

As Bhaurao was the most loved one in the house, his more attention was in playing and wandering than in studies. In that, Satyappa was known as the votary of the untouchables, the helper of the poor. Due to Satyappa, fearlessness among Bhaurao gradually increased.

Dr. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil with Gadage Maharaj and Babasaheb Ambedkar
Dr. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil with Gadage Maharaj and Babasaheb Ambedkar on July 14, 1949


Bhaurao was educated at Dahiwadi and Vite. At the age of eight, Bhaurao enrolled in Marathi primary school No. 1 of Dahiwadi on February 10, 1896 CE.

In 1902 CE, Bhaurao and Tatya were sent to Vite in Ajra taluk of Kolhapur for English education. Accordingly, he studied from 1st to 3rd in Rajaram Middle High School. After that, took admission in Rajaram High School.

Unforgettable event in life of Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil

While at palace of Shahu Maharaj, Bhaurao failed in maths subject of sixth class. After telling this story to Shahu Maharaj, Shahu Maharaj asked the mathematics teacher Mr. Bhargavaram Kulkarni to pass Bhaurao in mathematics and push him to the upper class.

But Shri Bhargavaram was very honest, he said to Shahu Maharaj that, “The bench on which the brother sits, once he he will push the bench to the next class, but not the brother. Moreover, it does not agree with my intellect to mark pass a boy giving more marks who gets seven marks out of two hundred. If you wish Fire me.”

At that time, Shahu Maharaj saw his honesty and promoted him to a higher position. Bhaurao remembered those words of Kulkarni Guruji throughout his life. Later, Bhaurao told the boys of the hostel about this incident and made them work hard in their studies. After failing in sixth, father of Bhaurao called him back to Koregaon.

Most of the readers will see failure of Bhaurao here, but these last years in the company of Maharaja turned out to be a turning point in the life of Bhaurao. In the presence of Maharaja, he got inspiration to do social work as a future social reformer.

Holistic approach of Bhaurao Patil towards education

Vision of Bhaurao Patil for education was deeply influenced by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.

He believed that education was the key to social transformation and that it should be accessible to all irrespective of caste, creed or social status. Also education should be practical and relevant to the needs of society and thereby empower people to become self-reliant and independent.

His approach to education was holistic and multidisciplinary. He believed that education should not only impart academic knowledge, but should also teach life skills, values and ethics.

He spoke about the importance of physical education, sports and yoga and encouraged the students to develop good personality. He himself was a fan of wrestling. He believed in promoting gender equality and made special efforts for the education of girls and women.

Rayat Shikshan Sanstha – A leading educational institution

In 1918 CE, Bhaurao Patil founded the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha. It is a pioneering educational institution, aimed at educating children especially in rural areas. The organization started with just one school in Kale village of Kolhapur district.

But soon, the organization expanded to three states in India namely Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. The institute established several vocational training centers to make the students self-employed and financially independent.

Self-reliant education is our motto!

– The motto of Rayat Shikshan Sanstha

Branch Extension

As per the official website of Ryat Shikshan Sanstha, as of now, Ryat Shikshan Sanstha has a total of 772 branches, including 42 colleges, 447 secondary schools, 7 training colleges, 62 primary schools (28 in English medium), 47 pre-primary schools (29 in English medium), 91 hostels (35 for girls), 7 Administrative Offices, 8 Ashram Schools, 3 Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), and 57 other branches.

Rayat Shikshan Sanstha founded by Bhaurao Patil
Rayat Shikshan Sanstha in 1919 CE

Fight against Discrimination and Injustice

Along with his work in the field of education, Bhaurao Patil was a tirelessly worked as social reformer for the upliftment of the exploited and marginalized sections of the society.

He tried to eradicate social evils like caste discrimination, untouchability, child marriage. He also worked for rights of women. In 1956 CE, he participated with other leaders in the efforts to pass the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act.

Death of Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil

On May 9, 1959 CE, he died of chronic illness in Sassoon Hospital at Pune. He was 71 years old at the time of death.

In 1959 CE, he was posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Central Government. In the same year, Pune University awarded him the title of D. Lit (Doctor of Literature).

Identity and Legacy of Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil

The contribution Bhaurao Patil to education and social reform is universally recognized and glorifed him. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, third highest civilian award of India, in 1958 CE.

In his memory, there are many branches of Rayat Shikshan Sanstha named after him all over Maharashtra.

A legacy preserved by the Rayat Education Institute

Rayat Shikshan Sanstha at Satara
Rayat Shikshan Sanstha at Satara

The Rayat Shikshan Sanstha founded by Bhaurao Patil continues to educate lakhs of students, especially those from rural and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The institute is at the forefront of promoting innovation and excellence in education. Also the institute is recognized as one of the leading educational institutes in the country.

The innovative approach of institute to education with an emphasis on hands-on learning, community engagement and student empowerment has won widespread acclaim. Many other educational institutions in India have followed the model of Rayat Shikshan Institute.

The organization is also recognized for its commitment to social justice and community development. Many of its programs focusing on the empowerment of women, promoting environmental sustainability, and addressing issues of poverty and inequality.

The institute is expanding its reach and impact with new programs and initiatives. Motive behind expansion is giving quality education to more students, especially students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Legacy of Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil continues to inspire future educationists and social reformers in India. His vision of education as a tool for social transformation and community development is as relevant today as it was a century ago.

The organization he founded, continues to thrive and evolve, embodying his ideals of innovation, excellence and social responsibility.

Finally, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil was a visionary educationist and social reformer, whose life and work have left an indelible mark on the history and culture of India.

I hope you will like this biography of Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil. Subscribe to our free newsletter, which will keep you updated. Also be sure to share this post on social media! So that we can be inspired to write new posts. If you are interested to read more content read Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil biography.


Images Credits

Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, Rayat Shikshan Sanstha in 1919 CE, Rayat Shikshan Sanstha at Satara, Credit: Rayat Shikshan Sanstha

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