Loni is a place in the Ahmednagar
district of Maharashtra. By road it is 65 kms from the town of
90 km from Nashik and 180 km from Pune. The holly shrine of ‘Saibaba’ Shirdi is
only 25 km away. This small place has undergone magical change in its
constitution than it was 50 years ago.
In the early decades of the 20th Century, droughts, famines,
brutal exploitation by traders, moneylenders and private factories had all
conspired to nearly destroy the peasantry and wipe out the profession of
agriculture in the Deccan area of Maharashtra.
In these dire circumstances, when the government and enlightened society too had
turned its back on the farmers, the visionary Padmashri Vikhe Patil showed them
the way to take their rightful place in the world and to live with dignity and
self-confidence by establishing the first co-operative sugar factory, first of
its kind in Asia. Keeping in mind the importance of education for rural masses,
he laid the foundation of Pravara Rural Education Society in 1964.
Starting an educational institution
in such a rural place and making it run successfully was a task next to
impossible. This challenge was taken by the visionary Padmashri Vikhe Patil and
his associates. English medium public school, a separate school for girls were
started in the early days. Later feeling the need of Higher Education he started
Arts, Science and Commerce
Many centres of Primary,
Secondary and Higher Education in and around, recognizes Loni as an Educational
hub. The Higher Education centres impart knowledge of traditional and
professional courses, such as Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Pharmacy,
Dental science, Agricultural biotechnology etc. Student from all corners of the
country seek admission to these courses. Most of these institutions have
expanded vertically as well as horizontally and are in a position to be
recognized as a Deemed University.
“Loni has become a role model of rural educational centre in the country”
In his visit to Loni in October 2005,
His Excellency Hon’ble Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, President, Government of India,
praised the work done as “Beautiful
minds, creative minds, noble minds of Loni”.