BISWANATH CHARIALI, Nov 26 - Year 1933. Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala ventured to make the first Assamese feature film Joymati in Bholaguri Tea Estate near Gohpur by converting the factory of the tea garden into a film studio. For this, he had made a makeshift studio namely, �Chitraban Studio� in the tea garden with bamboo, cane, wood, banana trees, thatch etc., and started shooting of the film in and around the factory.
Since then several governments have ruled the State, but the area remained almost deserted as the government departments allegedly did nothing to preserve the memory of the great artist in Bholaguri Tea Estate. Even those who were associated with the film industry in the State forgot about the matter. Thus, the factory, the formatting room where Jyoti Prasad had kept the films of the camera turned into a deserted place. Despite repeated demands of the local social organizations including AASU, AJYCP, AATTSA, AASA, SCSU etc., to preserve the tea garden, everything became a cry in the wilderness.
However, the latest developments made by the Department of Culture, Government of Assam have brought a ray of hope among the cultural enthusiasts of Gohpur. The department under the initiative of Gohpur MLA Utpal Borah has started reconstruction of the factory and the formatting room.
Another house has also been constructed at the place where the �Chitraban Studio� had stood. The whole area has been rechristened as �Chitraban Film Studio� and a boundary wall was already erected to protect the area. Getting encouraged at these steps, film personalities like Jatin Borah, Barasharani Bishoya, Navanita Sharma Borah, Padmarag Goswami, Amrita Gogoi etc., visited Bholaguri Tea Estate recently and paid respects to the artist.
The local people have urged the government to develop this place as a tourist spot which had been declared a heritage property by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on January 17, 2017.