99-year old Freedom Fighter from Bengal Receives Padma Shri for Welfare of the Poor in Sunderbans
One of the Padma Shri winners in 2018, Sudhanshu Biswas was a freedom fighter in British India. A diehard believer in Swami Vivekananda’s teachings, he has committed himself in service to humanity. His life is a concrete manifestation of “Jibe Prem Kore Jei Jon, Sei Jon Sebiche Ishwar” (A person who serves humanity, serves god).
Padma Shri winner, Sudhanshu Biswas has been a one-man army in service to the poor throughout his life. An active participant in the freedom movement of India, he did not retire from the selfless service to the nation even post independence. He was detained by the police and put behind the bars during the freedom struggle in the British Raj. Pained the by the partition of India, he went to the Himalayas and lived in the company of sages there for a decade.
While staying in the Himalayan solitude, Sudhanshu Biswas had an epiphanic realization of the goal of his life. Driven by a strong urge to work for the welfare of the needy, the poor, and the oppressed, he left the Himalayas for Kolkata (then Calcutta) in the late sixties. He set up an old age home, an orphanage and a free dispensary in the rural backwaters of the Sunderbans in Bengal.
He embarked his philanthropic mission by setting up two ashrams in the rural belt of South 24 Parganas district in 1973. He also founded Ramakrishna Sevashram at Baruipur to motivate the local people for a great cause and make them join his mission. Then he steered the wheels of his philanthropic journey towards remote villages in the Sunderbans.
In the period of 23 years from 1973 to 1996, he worked relentlessly in the Sunderbans until he set up 18 charitable primary schools there. Standing at the threshold of 100 (now he is 99), the Padma Shri winner is working to build a “temple with a difference” in the Sunderbans, where all religions will be united by the principles of humanity.
Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans’ philosophy, “Jato mat tato path” (As there are a number of beliefs, there are a number of ways), will be the foundation of the proposed temple.