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Businessmen preserve Jyoti Prasad�s chair at Gamiri

By Correspondent

BISWANATH CHARIALI, June 24 - Santhalia brothers, businessmen by profession of Gamiri under Gohpur subdivision in Biswanath district, have been preserving a �wooden armchair� for long, reportedly used by Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala.

According to Raju Santhalia and his brother Uday Santhalia, their father�s maternal uncle Keshar Dev Murarka once used to live in the present house of the Santhalias. At that time, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala had been working in and around Bholaguri Tea Estate, Gohpur. He started his noble venture of making the first Assamese feature film, Joymati in the makeshift studio constructed in the tea garden. The equipment required for the film and also the actors and technicians were brought to Bholaguri by the waterway of the Brahmaputra and they were stationed at Gamiri, a big village on the bank of the river.

It may be mentioned here that Gamiri played a pivotal role in transportation during the British era as there existed a big ferryghat there at that time. Gamiri then became a hub of Gandhian activists involved in the freedom struggle and also of culture and literary workers. Jyoti Prasad used to take rest at Keshar Dev Murarka�s house while travelling through Gamiri and interacted with local people sitting on this armchair. In due course of time, the wooden chair was handed over to the next generation. After Keshar Dev, his three sons Damodar, Shyamsundar and Sajal preserved it. Later, the whole property was inherited by the Santhalia brothers. Since then, they have been protecting it from decay. People often throng their house to have a look at this age-old chair. They have now urged the Department of Culture, Government of Assam to take steps for the preservation of this memorable property of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala.

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