Remembering Vidyasagar on his death anniv

MNA Feature Desk: On 29 July 1891 popular social reformer, writer, philosopher, educator and translator, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar passed away in Calcutta (now Kolkata) at the age of 70.

Born on 26 September 1820 in the Paschim Midnapore District of West Bengal to impoverished Brahmin parents, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was six years old when he moved to Kolkata to live with the family of Bhagabat Charan, where his father had already been staying for some time.

While staying there, Vidyasagar was deeply moved by Bhagabat’s daughter Raimoni’s maternal affection for him, which eventually had a great influence on his work towards the betterment of the status of women in society.

The name Vidyasagar, which meant “ocean of knowledge”, was given to him by the people of his village because of his vast knowledge on various subjects.

He was so moved by the cruel poverty people were living under that as a student he would use his scholarship proceeds to feed the poor and buy medicines for the sick.

Apart from his kindness, Vidyasagar was an extremely humble individual, a characteristic through which he constantly inspired people. Vidyasagar also authored many books which greatly helped the Bengali education system. In him India saw an individual whose own interests took a backseat as he constantly worked for the betterment of society.

Following his death his son sold his house to the Mallick family of Kolkata, who later sold it to the Bengali Association. The association used the premises to start a school for girls and a free homeopathic clinic.

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