Dhondu's education began in the
Shenvi Pantoji's school in the village of Murud. Dhondu was not a very clever student. In
those days the fourth standard examination was considered quite important. If a candidate
was successful in that examination, he could get the lower posts in the government. Dhondu
failed in the examination held in 1869.
By about 1870 an enthusiastic teacher by name Vinayak
Lakshman Soman joined the Murud School. Within a few days Dhondu became the favorite
student of Soman. Under his guidance Dhondu passed the fourth standard examination.
Soman was very enthusiastic to serve the country and the
people. He wished that his pupil also should serve the country and the people. In those
days many people were illiterate, that is, they could not read and write. Few newspapers
were received in the village. Soman thought that the people should know what was going on
in the world outside, and made a plan. It was the custom of the people to visit the
Durgadevi temple in the evenings. Dhondu would collect a few newspapers received in the
village, sit on the pial of the temple and read them aloud. People who came to visit the
temple could hear the news, without any effort on their part. Dhondu used to render this
public service gladly, as his teacher had desired. Thus, under the influence of his
teacher Soman, even from his boyhood Dhondu developed the desire to serve the people.
At that time Soman collected five rupees from every
villager as share money. With the capital of eight hundred rupees so
collected, he set up a shop. Dhondu was to sell goods and maintain accounts.