Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das
Utkal Gaurav Pandit Gopabandhu Das was not only an efficient, loving, ideal teacher but also a dedicated social worker as well as an excellent poet whose contribution to the poor, distressed is unquestionably eye-catching.
He endeavoured to spread education among the down-trodden and to bring smile to the faces of the suffering millions. Gopabandhu Das was born at Suando in Puri district on 9th October in 1877.
His father was Daitari Das and mother was Swarnamayee Devi. He started education in village school. Later in 1899, he passed out in entrance exam and took admission in Ravenshaw College, Cuttack.
He passed B.A. in 1904 and law in 1906. After education Gopabandhu worked as a headmaster in Nilgiri High School. During the flood in 1907, he formed a volunteer organization, collected rice, flat rice, clothe, and distributed them among the flood-affected people.
In 1909, Gopabandhu set up Bana Vidyalaya at Satyabadi and taught them vocational education. In 1916, he was elected to Bihar-Odisha Assembly. He went to Singhbhumi, Chakradharpur, set up Odia schools there. He joined in the freedom struggle led by Gandhiji and went to jail.
Gopabandhu was a born poet. He wrote books like Dharmapada, Abakasha Chinta, Kara Kabita, Bandira Atmakatha, Gomahatmya, Nachiketa Upakhyna etc. He was a born patriot and nationalist. His heart was crying for the poor, the distressed.
During flood, when his own son was sick and was in death bed, he went to help, the flood-affected people. His daily newspaper ‘The Samaj’ is a popular newspaper today.
Such a great soul passed away on 17th June 1828. “Gopabandhu, Garibon ka bandhu. The nation salutes you.”