Vithalrao Vikhe Patil

Vithalrao Vikhe Patil

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Category: Business , Social Work

Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Profile

  • Name:
  • Vithalrao Vikhe Patil
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Loni

Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Biography

Vithalrao Vikhe Patil was an industrialist and social worker from Maharashtra best known for establishing Asia’s first sugar factory in the cooperative sector in India in the year 1948 and commissioned it two years later. He did so to help poor sugarcane farmers who were exploited by landlords, money lenders and private factory honours. For his efforts President of India presented him with Padma Shri in 1961. He was also a recipient of a couple of honorary doctorates by University of Pune and Mahatma Phule Krishiv Vidyapeeth.


Both his son Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and grandson Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil are leading politicians from Maharashtra. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil was also a social worker and agriculturist honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2010. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil currently serves as leader of opposition of Maharashtra. His grandson Ashok Vikhe Patil is a leading educationalist. His great-granddaughter Nila Vikhe Patil is an advisor who works in foreign countries like Sweden.


Patil had a very humble background, born into a poor farmer’s family in Loni, Ahmednagar in 1901. He has well-experienced the exploitations faced by sugarcane growers and wanted to do something for their benefits. He later realized that starting a co-operative society for poor farmers can make big difference. He started working on it, and finally managed to assemble 44 villages to establish the first co-operative of this sector in Asia.  


He was also well aware of the need of giving proper education to the kids of farmers, and for this purpose he successfully incorporated working farmers, who contributed towards the education fund from every tonne of the sugarcane sent to the factory. Dr. Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation's Medical College and Hospital, Institute of Business Management and Rural Development and Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Limited are some institutions in his memory currently run by Dr. Vithalrao Foundation.

Published: March 08, 2019

Updated: March 08, 2019

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