10 things to know about Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das on his 89th Death Anniversary

Today marks the 89th anniversary of Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das’s death, and in Odisha, he received a lavish memorial.

Remembering the great soul, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter.

1. Odisha’s Gandhi

Utkalmani Gopabandhu is sometimes referred to as the “Gandhi of Odisha” due to his numerous accomplishments in the fields of social change, journalism, and literature in Odisha.

2. One who works to improve society

The epithet “Utkalmani” (Gem of Odisha) was bestowed upon him in recognition of his attempts to effect change in conventional society, his involvement in hastening social movements, his selfless devotion, and his efforts to improve education. Odisha’s former name was Utkal.

To aid those who had fallen prey to the cholera epidemic, he founded the nonprofit Puri Seva Samiti. A specialised hospital for cholera patients was eventually built in the area as a result of the protests.

He was born on October 9, 1877, to Swarnamayee Devi and Daitari Das in the town of Suando, not far from Puri; he was instrumental in the establishment of Odisha as India’s first linguistic state in 1936. His work in establishing Odisha as a distinct province will be recognised by future historians.

3. a graduate of Cuttack’s Ravenshaw College

Gopabandhu received his schooling at the top Odisha university, Ravenshaw College in Cuttack. While he was in school, he pushed his buddies to do community service and take on economic and political issues. His dedication to helping others had been a hindrance during his B.A. studies. After failing the test the first time, he passed on his second try. A law degree from the University of Calcutta followed.

4. gave up a successful legal career to focus on social service

His legal career began in Puri after he graduated from Calcutta University and continued when he was appointed to the High Court in Cuttack. He eventually became the government’s attorney in the Mayurbhanj court. He had previously worked as a lawyer, but he decided against continuing in that line of work and instead pursued a career in social work.

5. A dad who left his sick son at home and went to rescue flood victims.

Because of his dedication to helping the needy, Gopabandhu raced to the flood-affected areas without waiting to see to his sick kid.

Many people would be willing to take care of my youngster. However, many individuals have been impacted by the devastating floods. Instead of taking care of my son here, it is my responsibility to travel there. “My son will be well taken care of by Lord Jagannath,” he had promised.

6. A revolutionary

The Vande Mataram group he met in Kolkata (Calcutta) imbued him with Swadeshi pride. He made history as Odisha’s first Congress party president. To rally the people of Odisha to the non-cooperation campaign, he invited Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi there in 1921. He spent a lot of time in prison for his dedication to the liberation movement. He was hailed as the “father of the national movement in Odisha” by veteran leader Subhash Chandra Bose.

7. An educator who fought for change

Gopabandhu thought that learning might make the world a better place. After finishing elementary school in 1893, he enrolled in Puri Zilla School, where he was taught by Mukhtiar Ramchandra Das. The instructor’s patriotism served as a powerful motivator for him.

In 1909, he established the Satyabadi Bana Bidyalaya in the village of Sakshi Gopal. He made a commitment to change things for the better by bolstering Odisha’s educational infrastructure. Through his teaching, he instilled a sense of national pride in his students and instilled in them a desire to serve their fellow man.

8. A selfless man who put the needs of others above his own

When Gopabandhu was young, he lost both of his parents to illness. He wed Apti when he was just 12 years old. Like him, she disappeared at age 28. He bequeathed his three children to his older brother upon the passing of his wife and boys. He abandoned his family and devoted himself to helping others.

9. Prolific author and poet

He had a great reputation as a poet and writer. His literary skills are demonstrated in works such as Kara Kabita, Chilika, Dharmapada, and Bandi Ra Atma Katha.

10: Impact on the Journalism Industry

In Odisha, Gopabandhu was a forerunner of journalistic freedom. He served as vice president of the whole Lok Sevak Mandal organisation. He was an important figure in the history of Odia journalism. In 1914, he released the first issue of his journal Satyabadi. In 1919, he launched the weekly newspaper The Samaj, which would eventually become the most widely circulated daily in Odisha. He remained the ‘Samaj’ editor till the very end of his life.

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