The pioneer of Sugar Co-operative movement, who had a humble beginning, was chiefly instrumental in, organizing the much exploited sugarcane 'growers of the 44 villages, in and around Pravaranagar, way back in 1948, and establishing Asia's first co-operative sugar factory, which was commissioned in 1950.
Born in a farmer's family at Loni in 1901, he was distressed by the pitiable plight of the poor, the illiterate and the downtrodden peasantry who were exploited by the money lenders, feudal lords, and private sugar factory owners. In those days the local peasantry of Pravara area had to face difficulties in marketing of sugarcane, as conversion of sugarcane into Sugar was totally uneconomical and the "Jaggery Prices, reached the rock bottom.
Therefore, Padmashri began exploring ways of uplifting the farmers of this area. It dawned on him that co-operative movement was the only ideal medium to achieve his goal. So begins the saga of co-operative movement in India. He pioneered co-operative movement as a tool for social, educational & economic upliftment of the rural masses.
His untiring efforts changed the rural scene of Maharashtra & created awareness amongst the people to lead a prospective purposeful life. He was awarded "Padmashri" the distinguished title in appreciation of his life's work with the co-operative movement, at the hands of the President of India, Late. Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1972. He was felicitated with the honorary D. Lit. Degree by University of Pune in 1968 and Doctor of Science in 1979 by Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri.
Worthy son of Late Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, a leader of reckoning in Maharashtra State, Member of Parliament for over two decades took upon himself the arduous task of translating the dreams of his father into concrete realities by meticulous, punctilious planning and by offering dynamic and pragmatic leadership to the Society.
Social Transformation Through Education: With this realization, he adopted a strategy to raise awareness amongst the small peasants and the rural poor, through spread of technical and non-technical education.
He is the Guiding Light and soul in development of Pravara Rural Education Society,Loni and Dr. Padmashri Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation , Ahmednagar.
In continuation to visionary thoughts of Hon'ble Shri Balasaheb Vikhe Patil the envisaged future plans are being implemented under his dynamic leadership, with Prime Aim to provide quality Medical Services to Rural as well as Urban masses.