Padmabhushan Dr. Karmveer Bhaurao Patil, the great founder of Rayat Shikshan Sanstha was born on 22nd September 1887 at Kumbhoj in Kolhapur District of Maharashtra. Influenced by the writings of Jyotirao Phule, the activities of Vitthal Ramji Shinde and social reforms launched by Shahu Maharaj he fought against social ills. He believed that social ills could be eradicated through the education of the masses who were deprived of education facilities for centuries. He started this mission of mass-education with the opening of a Boarding House at Kale in 1919. In 1924, he shifted the head-quarters of his educational institution to Satara. The students from all castes and creed were admitted in Rayat Shikshan Sanstha's hostels. The orthodox sections of the society then opposed strongly this. Along with his mass-education movement he also supported nationalist movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. He was very much impressed by Gandhi's ideology of wearing khadi and simple life. He decided not to wear a cap or shoes. Raising money for the establishing a network of schools and colleges was not the only problem before him. But also persuading poor peasants to send their children to schools was a challenging task then. According to Bhaurao, every village should have a school and every village-school should have a trained teacher.
So he concentrated on the opening of teacher training colleges and primary schools. After independence Bhaurao Patil established colleges for imparting higher education to the poorer people. Presently there are 41 colleges in Maharashtra. Karmveer Bhaurao Patil and Rayat Shikhan Sanstha were pioneers who implemented 'Earn and Learn' principle. University of Poona honoured him with the degree of Doctor of Literature for his contribution to the mass education.