Acharya Bhise was one of the renowned Social Worker from Maharashtra who devoted his entire life to the cause of Education. He is the pioneer of 'Ashram Shalas' (residential school) for Adivasis in Maharashtra. He was a visionary leader who lead many academicians, social workers, teachers and agriculturists by setting his own examples. Acharya Bhise Guruji was also the President of Adivasi Seva Samiti,Maharashtra for several years and under his guidance only Maharashtra Government carried out upliftment of tribal people of Maharashtra.
Shankar rao Bhise was born in a small village called SAI in Raigad district of Maharashtra in 1894. Thane based philanthropist Mr.Kharkar took responsibily of his education as Shankar's parents were very poor.Kharkar saw his keen interest in studies and helped him to shift to The State of Bombay for his higher education after his matriculation. SR Bhise completed his B.A. from Wilson College,Bombay. Bhise had great influence of his teacher Shri.T.A.Kulkarni,the founder of Gokhale Education Trust named after Namdar Gopalkrishna Ghokhale,a well known Social reformer. Kulkarni Sir started a School at Bordi,a place eighty miles away from Bombay, on 3rd death Anniversary of Gokhale. Kulkarni Sir invited Shankar to become Principal of this School,but Shankar refused and kept working in Bombay.
Once,when Shankar visited his hometown Raigad,he came across a grave of American person in a small village.After some enquiry he came to know that it was a grave of Missionary doctor who devoted his entire life in serving poor people in Raigad.He realized his mistake of denying Kulkarni Sir's proposal to serve School in remote village of Bordi. He decided to approach Shri.T.A.Kulkarni again and work in rural areas throughout his life. Bhise joined Bordi's SPH School in 1920 and served School and Tribal Area of Dhahanu-Bordi for more than fifty years.He remained unmarried throughout his life and selflessly devoted his life for the up-liftment of the poor Adivasis. This way SR Bhise became Pujya Acharya Bhise for people.
Acharya Bhise started first Ashram Shala for Adivasis in Maharashtra,at Bordi in 1928.Before Bordi there was only one AshramShala in India and that too in Orissa. So in real sense Acharya Bhise can be considered as Pioneer of Ashram Shala (residential primary school) in Maharashtra. Apart from that he also started/guided and also inspired many teachers like Tarabai Modak to start Anganvadi,Balvadi and Shishuvihar pre-primary Schools.Under the guiadance of Acharya Gokhale Education Trust started NB Mehta college in Valwada and Agriculture institute in Kosbad hill. He always helped his teachers and solved their problems.He used to take keen interest in Problems of Tribal people in Areas across Dahanu and solve them personally by approaching Mantralaya.He instilled confidence and sense of self-respect in tribes .Government started many Ashram Shalas under his guidance.He worked restlessly till his death. Hence he got felicitated by name 'Sevamayi' Acharya Bhise by Maharashtra Government.
Acharya Bhise Guruji also participated in Freedom Fight and was imprisoned twice by British Government.His devoted teachers also accompanied him in the jail on both instances. He was imprisoned during 1939's 'Individual Disobedience Movement' and 'Quit India' movement of 1942.Acharya Shankarrao Bhise guruji was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave.When he was principal of SPH Highschool Bordi, he also supported Swayam Rozgar and Swadeshi cause of Mahatma.Students of SPH school got vocational training like Hand-weaving, Spinning,Hand-made Paper making, Jaggery and Palm juice making and training in agriculture.
In his life Acharya touched hearts of Millions of Maharashtrian people.He uplifted thousands of Adivasis through spreading education and awareness of human rights.He helped start many Schools,Colleges,Agriculture institutes in Maharashtra and also created many leaders from his students who in turn became social workers. His student Dr.Jayantrao Patil, a well known agriculturist,rural area reformer,ex-member of Planning Commision of India and an author of several useful books has written a book called 'सेवामयी आचार्य भिसे' ('SEVAMAYI ACHARYA BHISE'),perhaps the only book which gives extensive information about Acharya Bhise and his work. Acharya Shankar rao Bhise was social reformer of Maharashta who was real Karmayogi who worked for his entire life to Educate the most poor and oppressed tribal people of Maharashtra and in real sense highlighted name of BORDI in the map of India.Unfortunately his work didn't got appreciation from Government of India which he really deserved. Acharya lost somewhere in the pages of History. Sevamayi Acharya Bhise died on 4th July 1971.Ashram Shala in bordi remains as his only 'Smarak'.
(Note: I feel really proud that I have got 'ACHARYA BHISE AWARD' in 1996 named after such a great personality.You can read about that 'Unforgettable Moment' of my life here.)
|Teacher of Acharya Bhise|
|Krishi Ratna Dr.Jayantrao Patil|
Student of Acharya Bhise
I will be glad if anybody sends me picture of Acharya Bhise for this post)