The tribals are generally considered to be ignorant, socially backward and addicted to various vices and as such, have been isolated from social advancement as well as deprived of the benefits of science and technology. The government provides for them schools, medical centres and boarding schools. But, clearly, that is not enough. It is necessary to develop cultural values and social attitudes among them. They must be assimilated in the mainstream of society and be able to live with self-respect. The scheme of establishing Hostels for them was planned with this objective in mind. An evolution has been taking place thanks to the infinite patience and incessant diligence of hundreds of workers and the fruits of these vast efforts are now becoming distinctly visible today.This was the dream of the eminent activist, Shri Madhavrao Kane whose life was dedicated not only to emancipating of the tribals and backward class people but also to giving them dignity and status in society. He was speaking on the occasion when he was honoured with the Pu. Bha. Bhave Memorial Award on 13th August, 1993. A transparently honest, sincere and extremely capable man, his intense desire for the welfare of tribals for whom he spent 30 years of his life is expressed in the following speech given by him. "At the outset I would like to thank the Pu. Bha. Bhave Memorial Award Committee for honouring me with this prestigious award. Many of you who are present here may not know about my social work and I do not think that it is necessary because I really don't think I have done anything great.It is a happy coincidence that the Late Damuanna Tokekar and the Late Keshavrao Kelkar were both honoured with this very award; and, while I accept this award, I feel it is my duty to pay my humble tributes to them since it is they who inspired me to work for the tribals.Whatever little I have been able to achieve, is purely on the strength of the faith and dedication instilled in me from my childhood in the Shakhas of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. As today's award is for my social work, I will not say anything about my work as a corporator, the mayor of Kalyan, or an office bearer of the Jansangh, or about my participation in the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti and the Gomantak Liberation movement.When I joined this field in 1966, the Late Baba Kulkarni who was a veteran worker of the 'Hindu Dharmaprasarak Mandal' was already working in Talasari and counteracting the Christian Missionaries' conversion activities by means of re-conversion. Baba loved me like a son and on 17th April, 1966, on the auspicious occasion of `Gudhi Padva', we started a Hostel for Tribal Students. Eventually, the Government also allotted 10 acres of land to this institution and today there are 175 boys & 75 girls in it, which has all the requisite facilities. During the last 26 years, this institution has produced, among thousands of others, 1 lawyer, 3 doctors, 1 police officer, 60 policemen and 20 Defence Officers, who are all doing very well in their respective fields. It also boasts of having created one artist and 6 businessmen. There are many others working in the agricultural sector, using latest technology. There are six life-long workers who are devoted to the work of this centre. It is worth mentioning here that Shri Vishnu Savara who is at present an MLA representing Vade constituency hails from the first batch of students of this hostel.However, our work is not restricted to Talasari in Thane district. The following institutions elsewhere are also assisting us in this work :1) `Devbaandh' is a Centre in Mokhada Taluka run by the Sahyadri Adivasi Bahuvidh Sevasangh, Thane.2) The Hindu Seva Sangh has been working through schools, hostels, and cultural development centres (Samskaar Kendras) in Ambhan (Manor), Mamnoli, Sutrakar & Balkaapara.3) There are centres and hostels run by the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram at Vikramgadh, Chalatvad, Beriste and Dombivli.4) The Pragati Pratishthan, Thane has been running a residential school for the deaf & dumb in Jawhar. There are 6 medical centres in Mokhada and Jawhar areas and even a Technical School in Morchundi.5) The Trust floated in the memory of the Late Shri Arvind Pendse who was a staunch worker has been running a boarding school viz.,`Arvind Smriti' in Dadade near Vikramgarh.6) In Bhivandi a hostel has been established for college students by the Dandekar Pratishthan established in the memory of the Late Shri Dadasaheb Dandekar a generous industrialist and philanthropist.7) In Dahanu, the Vanavasi Kalyan Kendra is running a hostel for college students.Most of the above mentioned hostels work without any grant. No fee is charged to the students. On the contrary they are provided all educational facilities.I have given a brief account of what these centers are doing in this field. On this occasion I would like to take an opportunity to invite you to visit these centres so that you can get an insight into the work of these institutions.Once again I thank all of you and also the committee. GODARANI on the work of Shri Madhavrao Kane"The founder-President of the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, the late Shri Balasaheb Deshpande had undergone a cataract operation and was advised by the surgeon to stay in Mumbai for a few weeks. He was staying with Shri Sharadrao Dandekar. Quite naturally, a number of important social workers and leaders came to visit him. One day, late Godutai Parulekar, the wellknown social worker and a legend in her life-time, despite her leftist leanings, visited him accompanied by Shri Kane. Balasaheb praised her role and expressed his admiration for the work she had done amongst the Vanavasis in Thane district. In reply, she remarked that she had no doubt created an awareness of their rights and privileges among them and taught them to fight against injustice, but she had failed to bring about any basic positive change in their lives, while Madhavrao through his Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra, hostel, school and constructive activities had been remarkably successful in this respect. She observed that, as a result, she had witnessed an unbelievable and welcome change in the lives of the local Vanavasi youths.

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