Vasudev Balwant Phadke (November 4, 1845 – February 17, 1883) was born in Panvel. He was an independence activist and revolutionary in India, who sought freedom from British Raj. During the British rule the plight of the farmer community, moved him greatly and he was of the belief that the only remedy for this was Swaraj. He formed ‘Ramoshi’ a revolutionary group with the help of the Dhangar, Bhil and Koli communities in the state of Maharashtra. In an effort to overthrow the British Raj from India, an armed struggle was started by the group. Fund for the liberation struggle, were obtained by raiding rich English businessmen. During one of his surprise attacks, when he got control for a few days of Pune city, Vasudev Phalke came into the limelight.
As a child he chose riding and wrestling over education in school and dropped out from high school. Later took up a clerical job for 15 years in Pune with a military accounts department. His mentor was a Pune based social figure, Krantiveer Lahuji Vastad Salve who taught Palke the importance of backward communities getting in the mainstream freedom movement. To educate the youth, Phadke founded the institution, Aikya Vardhini Sabha. He was co-founder of Maharashtra Education Society also known as PNI – Poona Native Institution. In Pune, he set up Bhave School, through the PNI which runs over 77 educational institutions all over Maharashtra State today. Phadke was captured for attacks on the British, put into prison in Yemen after which he died on February 17, 1883, after hunger strike unto death.