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As Pune Vidyarthi Griha enters its centennial year of existence, we explore the essence of its greatness. Just as a rivulet turns into a mighty river and finally merges into the sea not withstanding the obstacles and tribulations that come its way, P. V. G. as the institution is popularly called has withstood the test of time. It has merged into the society having contributed substantially in its development.
Pune (Anath) Vidyarthi Griha was established on 12th May 1909. Many dream but few dream as big as Diwan Bahadur Kashinath Ramchandra Godbole, his son Shri. Sitarampant Godbole, Shri. Annasaheb Gadre, Shri. Ramchandra Janardan Patwardhan and Shri. Narayan Gajanan alias Balukaka Kanitkar. The institution started with a very small beginning in the Bhat 'Wada' near Chimnya Ganpati at Sadashiv Peth, Pune. The institution had the honour of having the first "Kulguru'' Vishnu Gangadhar alias Dadasaheb Ketkar associated with it. Dadasaheb Ketkar dedicated his entire life with the single-minded objective of developing the institution. Later Shri. Gajanan Shripat alias Annasaheb Khair, an alumni of the institution joined it. His tireless contribution opened vistas of knowledge. In 1921, with the initiative of Dadasaheb Ketkar, Annasaheb Khair and Nanasaheb Parulekar 'Maharashtra Vidyalaya' - the first innovative school in Maharashtra was established.
Conventionally, those were tough days and tougher still for these social workers who dared to instil patriotism in the young minds who wanted to rise and contribute to the national freedom struggle. Besides this, these pioneers of education were looking for new avenues whereby the students could become physically fit and strong, self-reliant and build a good character. This task was accomplished very successfully in the institution. Anath Vidyarthi Girha had started with a humble beginning but within a short span it became a vibrant institution gaining popularity. On the occasion of its Diamond Jubilee, the institution was renamed as 'Pune Vidyarthi Griha'. However, the aim of the institution continued to provide education to the poor but deserving.
Always conscious of their roots and beginning the vision of "Kulguru" Shri. Dadasaheb Ketkar, Dr. G. S. Koshe, Shri. V. R. Shidore was to provide technical education to the students to help them keep pace with the changing times. For sometime Shri. Mamasaheb Date, Shri. M. B. Naik and Shri. Hanmant Bhosale strove to achieve excellent standards in quality education. Their efforts bore fruit and the fame of Maharashtra Vidyalaya started spreading far and wide. Batches of students having technical expertise and value based education pass out every year.
The dedicated efforts of Dr. S. V. alias Kakasaheb Deodhar, Tatyasaheb Vaidya, M. B. Naik, B. D. Rao, A. S. Vadodkar, P. B. Kulkarni, K. G. Sonar, S. D. Jalukar, M. D. Kashyap, D. R. Kapse, P. D. Kulkarni, R. D. Joshi, Dr. K. P. Deshpande and N. S. Mujumdar who shouldered various responsibilities contributed in raising the standards of the institution.
The pioneering efforts of Shri. P. B. Kulkarni led to the establishment of College of Engineering and Technology. Now there is a provision of acquiring Ph. D. from the college. After having established itself in Pune, the institution started spreading its wings and took on the task of generating and nurturing the students outside Pune. In 1926, an educational instituion was established at Nashik, in 1972, the Maharashtra Vidyalaya was established at Nashik, in 1977, Vidya Bhavan was established at Ghatkopar, Mumbai, in 1978 Muktangan English School & Jr. College was established at Pune and in 1981 an educational institution Vidya Prashala Highschool & Jr. College was established at Talegaon (Anjaneri) District Nashik.
The journey of the institution has continued through the years. The new generation of office bearers have taken inspiration from the founder members and have made lasting contributions. Shri. Gajanan Sant was the Secretary in 1984. He also performed his duties as a Treasurer and Chairman of the institution very ably. In 1987, Shri. P. D. Kulkarni became the Chairman and again he became the Chairman in 1992. Shri. Hanmant Bhosale became the Secretary of the institution in 1989 and was the Chairman in 1994 and 2004 respectively. The new generation took charge of the institute.
The present office bearers with Dr. R. P. Joshi as its Chairman, Shri. M. N. Deshmukh as the Secretary, Shri P. D. Kulkarni, Vice-Chairman and Shri. K. N. Shirkande also as its Vice-Chairmen, Shri. G. R. Sant as the Treasurer, Shri. H. G. Bhosale and Shri. R. L. Shete as its Directors are carrying the torch of success ahead with their hard work and dedication. They have to their credit the establishment of schools at Nerul in New Mumbai and at Mhasrul in Nashik. A science college was also established in Pune the same year. In 2007 a commerce and science college was started at Mhasrul. Nashik and B.Ed. College also going to start from June 2008.
Under the able leadership of these stalwarts in education an infrastructure congenial for the spread of education is set up. Efforts are made to achieve remarkable standards of education by keeping pace with the rapidly changing times. When the whole world is changing into a global village, it has become imperative to provide high standards of education. In order to achieve this objective, good classrooms equipped with laboratories and an equally competent staff is made available. Now 3000 staff members & 17000 students is the assets of the institute.
Pune Vidyarthi Griha has always given priority to satisfying the educational needs of the poor and deserving students but it has adapted itself to the changing times. In this centennial year, the institution is standing at a crossroad. On the one hand it is fulfilling its social obligations to provide free education to the poor and needy and on the other hand it is spending lakhs on the salaries of teachers. It is also spending exorbitant amount on hostel facilities and having an infrastructure with the latest and best facilities.
In this centennial year, the institution has proposed a number of projects. Some of them are as follows :
All these projects will incur an expenditure of Rs. 30 crore. It is not possible to raise all the money at once. But sincere efforts are going to be made to achieve the end result.
The ex-students association, ex-students, donors and well wishers have always supported the institution. In fact it is this monetary and moral support that has enabled the institution to achieve the status it has today.
The institution has decided to collect Rs. 1 crore as donation in this centennial year. Your generous contribution is solicited for this purpose. It is an earnest appeal to you to contribute and donate for a noble cause. Your donation can be sent by cheque/demand draft in the name of 'Pune Vidyarthi Griha - Centennial Fund'. According to article '80G' of the Income Tax you will get a 50% rebate on the donation amount.
In order to make the centennial year a momentous one, numerous programmes and activites will be conducted by the various institutions of Pune Vidyarthi Griha, Publication of the magazine and souvenir will be done. Besides this debates, discourses, intellectual, academic as well as sports competitions will be organised. There will be an ex-students gathering too.
You are requested to participate actively in all these programmes. Your guidance and support are treasured by us. They will help us to serve our community better. Thanking you,
Board of Directors
Pune Vidyarthi Griha