About the Founder
Sri Ramakant Keshav Deshpande was a lawyer by profession, visionary, a public servant of highest integrity and honesty, an activist for the tribal cause, a freedom fighter:- missed the death penalty by the British just because the then Thashildar Sri Harkare and poet Deshpande refused to give witness against him.
Born on 26th December 1913 in Amaravati - Maharastra. After completing his degree in law started his career as a lawyer. During his youth he was involved in the activities of Ramakrishna Mission. Then he joined as a Govt. officer in rationing department. Quit the job as he could not tolerate the corruption and the nexus between the govt. officials and the traders. Took up the law profession again. The Quit India movement attracted him towards Freedom Struggle.
Soon after independence the nexus between the divisionary- antinational elements and the missionaries in Madhya Pradesh made the then chief minister Sri Ravi Shankar Shukla to meet Sri Thakkar Bappa. Asper the wishes of Thakkar Bapa a great Gandhian, Balasahebtook up the govt. job again as the regional co-coordinator of Backward castes welfare division in Jaspur. Balasaheb did commendable work in the field of tribal education during this tenure.
After the death of Thakkar Bappa in 1950 the link between Tribes and govt. got cut off. Balasaheb got punishment transfer to chandrapur district of Maharastra as a reward for his tribal service!. He resigned from the service and decided to move to Jashpur to carry out the unfinished agenda of tribal awakening. The historical meeting between Sri Guruji gave him the necessary direction and motivation to solve the social problem in Jsahpur. He Started a boys hostel in Jaspur in a building given by the King of Jashpur Sri Vidya Bhushan Singh.
The saga of Tribal awakening begins with this students hostel 13 tribal boys on the foundation day of Vanavasi Kalyan Asram on 26th December 1952. VKA started working among every tribe it could reach. VKK transformed in to an All India organization, spreading its educational, social, cultural, economic and other multi dimensional activities during his life time. Realising his failing health he nominated Sri Jagadev Ram Uraon as the President of VKA. Balasheb's life ends on 21st April 1995 but his life mission continues to serve the brothers and sisters living in remote forests of our nation.