BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 12 OCTOBER 2022
The Divisional railway Manager (DRM) of Asansol, Permanand Sharma visited the Vidyasagar railway Station today along with top officials. He has inspected the circulating area, office rooms, garlanded a portrait of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar at his native house during the visit today.
About three years ago, when the entire nation has been rocked with the incident of breaking a statue at Vidyasagar College in Kolkata city , the Asansol Division of Eastern Railway had silently redeveloped the non descript Karmatanr station in Jharkhand and paid tribute to the father of Indian Renaissance , Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar has spent his last 18 years of his life in Karmatanr, a small tribal hamlet engaging in social services by setting up a girls school, a night school for adults on the premises of his house, which he had rechristened as Nandan Kanan. He has helped over two dozens widows to get remarried during his stint here about 149 years ago.
The union ministry of railways later rechristened Karmatar station as Vidyasagar station paying tributes to one of greatest minds ever produced in the country. It is situated about 57 kilometres away from Asansol on the main line of the Asansol – Sitarampur- Jasidih- Patna route.
It is a unique tribute to the legend that a park with garden, his statue and an Open Air Art Gallery , showcasing his achievements has been commissioned for the first time in the country have been set up at Vidyasagar Station premises.
“A beautiful park of 28,000 square feet area named after him has been constructed in the down side of the circulating area of the station at cost of Rs.5 lakhs. The whole area, which was full of garbage and partially encroached , has been beautified and important events on the life of Shri Vidyasagar has been depicted in plaques . One statue of Shri Vidyasagar has also been installed at the park. The cost of the entire project has been Rs.2 crores ,” said a railway official.
In a plaque of the park it is written that – Shortly after his death, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore reverently wrote about him : “ One Wonders how God , in the process of producing forty million Bengalis produced a man”. One of the leading social reformer , polymath, linguist, Sanskrit scholar, architect of widow remarriage, he reconstructed Bengali language and script.
The second class and the upper class waiting hall of the station has been renovated, the circulating area outside the station has been further widened, gang hut renovated, new PF shed on up platform , toilets renovated, model PWI store, toilet for disabled persons at the platform etc have also been set up at the station as part of the restoration and renovation of the heritage railway station. Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar came to Karmatanr on 1873 and spend more than 18 years of his life here.
In 1996, the then West Bengal transport minister Subhas Chakraborty inaugurated Bhagwati Bhawan, a building named after the mother of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.
It is the solitary park in the area where local populace and visitors can enjoy their morning walks and spend time in a peaceful , serene environment in the lap of the nature. Members of the local Bengali community have come forward to extend their help in maintaining the park and keep the entire area clean. He had forced the British to pass the Widow Remarriage Act and are our true icons. The dirty politics over the vandalism of his statue has shocked our government and we are grateful to the railways for paying such tribute of a truly national hero,said a local resident who stays in the nearby area..
Between Asansol and Jasidih 54 pairs of trains ( 48 pairs mail express and 6 MEMU / passenger) runs and 19 pairs of trains stop at Vidyasagar Station ( 12 pair mail express and 7 pairs of MEMU / passenger) at present.