By Uttamrao PatilI shall always remember my first meeting with Madhavrao Kane in Kalyan. With a look at his sparsely built personality, I instinctively felt his urge to be service to others.Although, it was he who swayed the stronghold of the Shetkari Kamgar Paksha (Peasants and Workers Party) in favour of the Jansangh, he himself never had his heart in politics. It was inevitable that he should turn to work for the welfare of tribals and the poor. Later also, he did work in politics, but it was for getting the tribals elected.In politics, there are three types of people. One type is of financially well off people with clout, who go on adding to their wealth. The second one consists of people who have sacrificed for the country but try to cash in on it to regain what they lost. The people from the third group are a rare and different cup of tea. They will sacrifice anything, even all they have, including their life, to serve the country and work for the poor. Madhavrao belonged to this group and sacrificed his entire life for the Vanavasis. His dream was to train many more people like him, and he did realise this dream.I became an MP in 1967. The late Laxman Matera also became an MP but his literacy was limited to signing his name only. But now, Chintaman Vanaga, "a full-fledged advocate from among the Vanavasis", is an MP, and the comparison I draw between these two underlines the great achievement of Madhavrao, and its distinction from the work done by other Vanavasi workers. Like the late Nana Dhoble, he also knew every single person in the households of the people among whom he worked, and he helped them in their difficulties and encouraged them like an elderly family man.His vitality influenced others so much that even his memory enthuses us all. No length of time will deprive us of the memory of this extremely rare friend, a brave but silent hero who knew no defeat and went on undauntedly on his glorious path never to turn back.

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