Hem Chandra Khataniar, an educationist, footballer and social worker of Bhotanta Saderi in Bajali area, passed away on January 19 at the age of 91. He was the founder principal of Swahid Rauta Madan HS School. A kind-hearted and helpful person, Khataniar commanded respect for his energetic, straightforward and courageous nature. He lived his life with self-respect and never compromised on integrity and truthfulness.

A self-made person, Khataniar was born in a farmer’s family at Kurobaha village of Bajali. Having lost his father when he was just six months old, he was looked after by his mother, who enabled him to complete his graduation. He used to work in paddy fields for three-four months and attended school for the rest of the year. As there was no school in his village, he would walk 10 km to attend school in the nearest town, Pathsala. He was a diehard footballer and people of Bajali knew about his football skills. He took part in the Assam Agitation and was arrested on many occasions. It became a big news when police forced his student to physically assault him at gunpoint. He later filed a case against the police officer, who was suspended.

He was associated with many organizations, including the district teachers’ selection board, and helped many needy and talented people get jobs. He continued to mentor students even after his retirement.
Today, on the day of his adyashraddha, we pray to the Almighty for eternal peace to the departed soul.
– Kshitish Talukdar