Bhubaneswar, Oct 9: The 146th birth anniversary of legendary freedom fighter and architect of Modern Odisha Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das is being celebrated across the state today.
Gopabandhu Das, popularly known as ‘Utkalmani’ was born on October 9 in a noble Brahmin family in Suando village located on the banks of River Bhargavi in Odisha’s Puri district. His father’s name was Shree Daitari Dash and his mother’s name was Swarnmayee Devi.
Utkalmani Gopabandu was known for his selfless service to the poor and downtrodden people of Odisha. He rushed to the flood-affected areas without any delay to provide relief, ignoring his ailing son.
Utkalmani had lost his parents in his childhood days. He married Apti at the age of 12. She also left the world when he was only 28. After the death of his wife and three sons, he left his daughters with his elder brother and gave his share of inheritance. He left his home and dedicated his life to the service of mankind.
Das completed his Bachelor of Arts from Ravenshaw College in 1904 and later completed his B.L. from Calcutta University in 1906. Later, Das served as a member of Vidhan Sabha of Bihar and Odisha from 1917 to 1921.
As an administrator, Gopabandhu took several initiatives for the upliftment of the people of Odisha suffering from natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, poverty, and disease.
Das was an eminent writer and poet. He was the pioneer of press freedom in Odisha. He started Odia newspaper ‘Samaja’ which started publication on October 04, 1919. He had played a significant role in Odia journalism. He published a monthly magazine ‘Satyabadi’ in 1914. He served as Editor of Samaj till his last breath.