Late Shikshan Maharshi Dnyandeo Mohekar (Guruji)
There are leaders who mesmerize listeners with their masterly oratory skills. Such leaders raise expectations but some fail to fulfil them. Then there are leaders who have practical vision for the society. Late Shikshan Maharshi Dnyandeo Mohekar Guruji was the one among them.
Late Mohekar Guruji, a freedom fighter, Batchlor of agriculture, a devoted social worker had to struggle due to the lack of educational facilities since his childhood. Being rootless, he decided to work for rural development. He realized that education was the base of social development. He was honest lover of education and social development. He was an intellectual with a heightened awareness of human problems in rural area.
Late Mohekar Guruji was born in a very remote place named ‘Dahitna’ in Kaij Taluka, at his maternal house. His native place was Moha, in Osmanabad District. He was from a farmer’s family. His father and other elderly members were illiterate. His mother, with the hope that her child should not remain illiterate, he must study and learn to read spiritual books, sent him to his maternal uncle, as there was no school at Moha. It was the last meeting of the mother and the son as she died of plague at Moha leaving him orphan at Dahitna at his age of 2.5 years with a younger sister.
Mohekar Guruji’s uncle was a teacher in private school, who taught him primary Marathi language. There was no government school nearby. When he was eight years’ old, he had to move at least two to three towns to learn the subjects like Mathematics, Urdu and English. He started learning English at Naholi, a village near Dahitna. Eduction for him, was becoming a very difficult task day by day. Eight year’s hungry Dnyandeo haed to move from place to place to get knowledge. But the thirst to get education was something beyond imagination.
Anyhow, he passed his matriculation from Aurangabad centre, and joined city Science College, Hyderabad. His further education was assisted by various scholarships. Stay at Hyderbad made a drastic change in his life. Crises and problems were no habitual to him. The little lad with search for hope in the dark was turning into an ambitious youth. There he came in contact with varieties of people, Hindu and Muslims busy with the activities relating to freedom struggle. He also tried to publish a periodical in Marathi during his college days. Probably he was the first person in Marathwada, who run adult education scheme. In the years 1948-49 there were at least 10 to 12 adult education centres in Moha. He also participated in anti Razakar Movement.
In 1950 he returned to Moha. Though there were the golden chances for him to get a government job, or going abroad for further studies, he established the institution named Dnyan Prasarak Mandal with the sheet objective of spreading education in the masses. The institution has an apt moto ‘Knowledge for all’. Education to the doorstep, in keeping with the principle one of his first action was to open a school at Moha in June 1951, named Dnyan Prasar Vidyalaya’. Indirectly he turned to cooperative movement. At the same time he became the Myor of Moha. Faced with the financial crises that crippled development work in rural area, he launched austerity measures. His contemporary teachers, friends, people in his village gave him the hand of co-operation.
Now, that the people came to know that their little co-operation is doing massive change in the educational atmosphere of the area, little wonder is becoming the key to social harmony. India become independent in 1947, but the youth of Osmanabad district started enjoying its fruits only after the efforts of Mohekar Guruji. He retired as a headmaster. Upto the end ot his life he was actively careful for the progress of Dnyan Prasarak Mandal as a founder member and secretary. Today the institution is largely active in Kalamb, Paranda, Ausa and Latur areas.
We are proud to note that the institution today runs a senior college names ‘Shikshan Maharshi Dnyandeo Mohekar Mahavidyalaya’, which was previously named as Dnayan Prasarak Mahaidyalaya. It was opened in June 1969. There are four junior colleges at Kalamb, Moha, Matola, and Yermala. The institution also runs ten highschools, one primary school and four hostels for backward class stuents.
Apart from this Late Mohekar Guruji also worked as a member and Director of various co-operative societies, co-operative oil mill at Yermala, Hostels of Maharashtra State Education Feeration, Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, Aurangabad, Academic Council and Senate of Marathwada University, Aurangabad. He was also actively working as a journalist, and published a weekly named ‘Pawan Jyot’.
Such a personality, gave further to the youth, confidence to the pesants. He skillfully and effectively dealt with the aim and ambition. His vision for future entails modernization but not a blind imitation of other institutions. He believed in development through people’s participation and came up with the new concept of membership to employees in society. He also took the initiative to discuss and negotiate with other members and colleagues for the speedy development of each branch of the institution.
His vision and services to the society were duly rewarded when he got Janseva Award of Rajmati Nemgonda Patil Trust, Sangli in 1990. Not only this but his work in educational field made people to know him as Shikshan Maharshi.
The spirit of the youth, the future of the villagers, the trust of the teachers, the friends the true member of the society, the ray of hope of children left this mortal world on 30th August 1991, leaving all his efforts to be carried forward by his successors.