Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90. Sudhanshu Biswas is 95 and he has been young all along. A freedom fighter since he was in class VII, Biswas today has dedicated his life to the society. Battling acute financial problems in his life, this nonagenarian runs 18 non-formal schools, two old age homes and is a full time teacher. His perseverance, dedication and selfless hard work is an inspiration for many and a debt for those whose lives he has saved and secured which they can never repay.
Biswas was arrested from the examination hall when he sat for his matriculation papers by the British. Since then he has vowed to help provide education to the poor, downtrodden and the marginalized. Being a member of the famous revolutionary group Anushilan Samity, he used to carry live bombs to be used against the British in India’s freedom struggle.
Soon after India’s independence, Biswas was imbued with the teachings and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda. “Service to man is service to God is my motto”, he says. Renouncing his family and friends, Biswas wandered in the Himalayas for 14 years in search of true knowledge.
Sudhanshu Biswas’ establishments
Coming back, Sudhanshu Biswas established two ashrams in at Hottar in South 24 Parganas. In 1973, he laid the foundation of Sri Ramakrishna Seva Ashram. “In 1996, he established as many as 18 free schools for the poor and downtrodden in the most underdeveloped places at Sundarbans. These schools are now self-reliant and do not look for grant anymore,” said Molay Dasgupta, president at Sri Ramakrishna Seva Ashram.
Last year, Biswas immersed himself in the task of constructing a temple in his village. “Our village has no temple. This high-rise temple will accommodate 500 devotees. It will accept devotees of any caste, creed or religion. We have decided to celebrate all major festivals of various religions under one single roof,” said Mr. Biswas.
Biswas is godsend for old people he has saved from a life of penury and hardships and for those children who have lived and learned in his schools. They today are successful teachers, engineers and the like, which they owe to Biswas. His life is a sacrifice for which many share an eternal gratitude to him.
This life is too short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive