The President of India, Smt .Pratibha Devisingh Patil today released a commemorative postage stamp on Late Shri Vitthal Sakharam Page. The postage stamp was released in recognition of Shri Page’s illustrious contribution in the field of social service, culture, education & literature, economics, philosophy etc. Shri Page also took part in the freedom movement and was imprisoned for the same.
Born on July 21,1910 at Bagani in Satara District of Maharashtra, Shri Page completed his LL.B degree from Mumbai University. His integrated Area Development Scheme, popularly known as “Page Scheme” for the integrated development of village areas and the amelioration of small land holders, traditional artisans and agricultural labourers was widely recognized in the field of social service.
His sustained campaign for employment guarantee as a fundamental right beginning with an article ‘Rojgaracha Hakk’ (Right to Employment) in 1949 and subsequent persuasion to the Maharashtra Government to implement Employment Guarantee Scheme on a pilot basis in 1969 finally led to enactment of Employment Guarantee Act in the Maharashtra in 1977. His life mission was to see that this scheme is implemented in the entire nation. As Chairman of the Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board, he implemented the Employment Guarantee Scheme for rejuvenating the age-old traditional village industries and to provide employment to the unemployed village artisans.
He was honoured with “Dalit Mitra” and Nyayaratha Ramshastri Prabhune Puraskark and regarded as “Father of Emoployment Guarantee Scheme”. Shri Page was a deeply religious and spiritual person. He authored books in Marathi and English mainly on philosophical and religious subjects. .
He was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council successively in 1952 and 1954 and to the Maharashtra Legislative Council in 1960, 1966 and 1972 and was its chairman from 1960 to 1978. During this period he was also Joint President of the Maharashtra Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He had visited U.K., USA, Canada, Japan, USSR representing the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Maharashtra Branch.