GAURIPUR, July 30 - Residents of Gauripur have demanded that Gauripur Community Health Centre (CHC) be renamed as Rani Bhawani Priya Hospital, to perpetuate the memory of Rani Bhawani Priya, who was the wife of Raja Pratap Chandra Barua, the founder zamindar of the Gauripur Royal Estate.
The people of Gauripur recall with pride the contributions of the founder zamindar of the Gauripur Royal Estate and his family towards the development of the town. He shifted his capital from Rangamati to Gauripur in 1850. He tried his level best to turn Gauripur into a model capital. He established a Sanskrit tol, an ME school and a hospital for the benefit of his subjects, but unfortunately he died in 1880. His wife Rani Bhawani Priya somehow managed the affairs of the Royal Estate with the help of her employees brought from the area now under West Bengal. She was issueless and therefore her husband Raja Pratap Chandra Barua adopted Prabhat Chandra Barua as his son.
Raja Prabhat Chandra Barua was a very popular zamindar. He was loved and respected by his tenants. After taking over the charge of affairs of the Royal Estate, he decided to complete the works of his father Pratap Chandra Barua. He planned to build the capital Gauripur like Coochbehar, the capital of Koch king Naranarayan.
He built the Mahamaya Temple, Madan Mohan Temple, Royal Palace, Hawa Mahal at Matiabag, upgraded the ME school into a high school in his father's name Tarinipriya Chatuspathi, guest house, constructed Mahamaya tank covering 10 bighas of land and a hospital in the name of his adopted mother Rani Bhawanipriya. His contribution was highly praised by all sections of people of the Royal Estate. His second son, Prakritish Chandra Barua somehow managed the affairs of the Royal Estate. But after the abolition of the Zamindary system in 1957, the powers of the zamindars got drastically reduced. After his death, the Royal family got divided and as a result the past glories have been lost. Gradually, the heritage buildings including Mahamaya Temple, Hawa Mahal, Royal Palace etc., got dilapidated.
Raja Prabhat Chandra Barua built the dispensary by donating nearly three bighas of land in the heart of Gauripur town and named as Rani Bhawani Priya State Dispensary in the sacred memory of his adopted mother Rani Bhawani Priya, wife of Raja Pratap Chandra Barua. Doctors like Dr Upen Kha, Dr PK Das, Dr Arun Phukan, son of famous journalist Lakshminath Phukan served in this dispensary.
Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta opened a new hospital at Gauripur in 1987 and the new hospital was named as Gauripur Community Health Centre (CHC) by striking out the original name Rani Bhawani Priya State Dispensary to the utter surprise of the people of greater Gauripur area.
By neglecting the study of the pages of history of the zamindars of Gauripur, the government as well as the family members of the Royal Estate have forgotten their contributions for the all-round development of the Estate and showed their ungratefulness by not naming it in the name of Rani Bhawani Priya State Dispensary.
Presently, the buildings of Rani Bhawani Priya State Dispensary remain abandoned and have become the shelter house of stray dogs, cows and pigs. Enlightened citizens of greater Gauripur area have urged the State government to rename the Gauripur CHC as Rani Bhawani Priya Hospital as a tribute to her memory.