Located in the remote interiors of Ratnagiri District in Western Maharashtra, the little village of Chikhalgaon stands out as the birthplace of freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Reckoned to have struggled for social and political change at the national level, Tilak left a mark in Indian history. Unfortunately, after Tilak, Chikhalgaon only remained as the name of a freedom fighter’s birthplace in our history books. The villagers tell that Chikhlagaon did not even have a school for over 40 years after independence. But that was not to be the situation forever…
As the hands of time were ticking over the years, another boy from a village nearby walked 15 kilometers to school, cycled eight kilometers to college and worked nightshifts to pay the fees for his medical study. All this was in order to be able to return to his village in Kokan someday and devote a better part of his experience and time towards its betterment. Together with the support and determination of other social activists and his wife Renu, Dandekar formed the Lokmanya Public Charitable Trust in 1982.
In the last 30 years, everyone associated with the Trust has worked relentlessly towards improving the condition of agriculture, education, health and rural infrastructure in Chikhalgaon. They realize that the task they have set for themselves is stupendous, but their success so far is proof of the fact that they can and shall move ahead undauntedly.
Even as you read this, somewhere in Chikhalgaon a mother is nursing her baby, a child is walking to school and a farmer is harvesting his yield. This cycle will continue because nature wills it, but this cycle can be more comfortable and desirable… if you will it. Be a part of this difference by making the difference.
Chairman and Trustees
Lokmanya Public Charitable Trust.