ISHWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR 2019 BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Ishwar Chandra was born on 26th September, 1820 in Birsingha, Ghatak in Bengal Presidency in British India. He belonged to a poor Hindu Brahmin family. He had an impeccable thirst for learning. He studied dedicatedly and performed exceedingly well in academics. He received scholarships that helped him to continue further studies. Apart from studying his course books, he also read other books extensively to enhance his knowledge. He studied at the Sanskrit College and qualified in different subjects including Sanskrit Grammar, Dialectics and Literature among others. Ishwar Chandra started working at Fort William College as the Head of Sanskrit Department at the age of 21 years. Later, he joined the Government Sanskrit College as Assistant Secretary. Ishwar Chandra was appreciated for his knowledge and wisdom. He was awarded the title, Vidyasagar that literally means ocean of wisdom. He believed in the power of education and was a living proof of the same. He opened many schools, especially to encourage girl education. He also worked hard to improve the condition of widows in the society. He fought hard to introduce the practice of widow remarriage. He won many accolades for his contribution to the society. Many places in India, especially in Bengal have been named after him. Ishwar Chandra spent the last 20 years of his life amid Santhals at Nandan Kanan located in Jharkhand. He died in Kolkata on 29th July, 1891 at the age of 70. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was an avid leaner. He read endlessly to quench his thirst for knowledge. He also began writing to share his thoughts, ideas and knowledge with others. He proved to be a brilliant writer. He authored several books that served as an inspiration for people around the world. The books written by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar include Betaal Panchabinsati published in 1847, Bangala-r Itihaas published in 1848, Jeebancharit published in 1850, Bodhadoy published in 1851, Upakramanika in 1851, Borno Porichoy published in 1854, Kotha Mala published in 1856 and Sitar Bonobas published in 1860. He also authored the Bengali Newspaper, Shome Prakash. The newspaper began publishing in the year 1858. Betal Panchabinsati, one of his most popular books, was a collection of legends and tales having an Indian backdrop. It was originally written in Sanskrit. Ishwar Chandra wrote at length about the condition of widows in India. He gave a detailed account of the hardships faced by them. He aimed to make people aware about the Hindu custom that was ruining the life of thousands of women around the country. His writings did make an impact and helped in improving the status of widows in the society. “Education does not only mean learning, reading, writing, and arithmetic, it should provide comprehensive knowledge, Education in geography, geometry, literature, natural philosophy, moral philosophy, physiology, political economy, etc is very much necessary. We want teachers who know both Bengali and the English Languages, and at the same time are free from religious prejudices”. “The life without suffering is like a boat without a sailor, in which there is no discretion of itself, it also moves in a light breeze”. The books authored by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar did not only hold importance during his era but continue to draw interest of the youth even today.