Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a great son of Bengal as well as India. He was born at Birsingha in the District of Midnapore in 1820. Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagabati Devi were his parents. Vidyasagar came of a very poor family but he was very intelligent. He had his primary education at village pathsala. Then he came to Calcutta and was admitted to Sanskrit College. He passed the Final Examination with great credit and became known as ‘Vidyasagar’ for his profound knowledge.
Vidyasagar first served the Education Department of Bengal. He then became a professor and later the principal of Sanskrit College. Vidyasagar was not only a learned man, but he was also a very kind-hearted person and a great social reformer. He set up many girls’ schools to spread education among the women. He was against child marriage and got the Widow Re-marriage Bill passed. He is called the ‘father of Bengali prose’. He also wrote many books like ‘Shakuntala’, ‘Sitar Banabas’ and ‘Barna Parichaya’. This great son of India died in 1891. But Vidyasagar will ever continue to live in our minds for his great ideas and thoughts.
By Amit Agarwal