PATACHARKUCHI, Sept 30 - A lifelong teacher, writer, and retired lecturer of the Geography Department of Bajali College, Jiban Krishna Patra breathed his last at the Swahid Madan Routa Civil Hospital, Pathsala on Tuesday morning at 6-15 am.
Born in Orissa, he spent most of his life at Pathsala. Staying in a rented house near Bajali College with his wife, he reportedly felt unwell the previous night, he was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead. He was 79.
As soon as the news of his demise broke out in Pathsala, people from all walks of life, gathered at the hospital to pay their last respects. His body was later taken to the Bajali College premises where the teachers, the governing body members and students and a number people representing various organisations paid their last respects. The body was then taken to various places and educational institutions of Pathsala town, like Pathsala Harimandir, Anundoram Barooah Academy, KK Kandique Jr. College, Bajali Higher Secondary School, Sahitya Sabha, Chandra Prabha Jr. Science College, Sikhapith, Seuj Nagar naamghar, Natmandal, Pathsala Samannay etc.
The AASU units of Barpeta district and Bajali subdivision are observing a three-day mourning. The Bajali district AJYCP, Pathsala Bazaar Committee, Pathsala Press Club, Patacharkuchi Press Club,Town Committee, Natmandal, Pathsala Samannay, Pathsala Sahitya Sabha, Tihu College Teachers� unit, North Kamrup College, BH College, Pathsala Chambers of Commerce and most other organisations of the locality have condoled his death terming it as a great loss to the society.
Jiban Krishna Patra was born in Orissa in 1936. He completed matriculation at his birth place, ISC under Calcutta University, graduation from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, MA in Geography from Benaras Hindu University, MA in Assamese from Gauhati University and MA in Oriya from Utkal University. He started work as a lecturer in Bajali College in 1963 and formally retired in 1994. He believed that a real teacher cannot retire and hence after retirement, he was continuously working in the college as a guest lecturer before death.
He wrote many books including course book of Gauhati University in Geography. He translated two books from Oriya to Assamese which were published by the Sahitya Akademi, ie., Aranya Fasal and Lakhi Puran. He translated the Brahmastra, a famous book of Nirupama Bargohain into Oriya. He regularly contributed valuable articles to The Assam Tribune and other vernacular dailies. He wrote many articles in Assamese, English and Oriya languages in souvenirs, magazines and news papers. He also composed a book on poetry in Oriya language. He was a good Odissi, Kathak and Satriya dancer. He tried to build a cultural bridge between Orissa and Assam and vice versa through his lifelong work.
After his retirement, he did not want to go back to his birth place and stayed in Assam, as he loved its people and its culture. He claimed that Orissa is his birth place and Assam is his work place. He stayed on the banks of historic �Bisarnala jan� which flows through Pathsala town and enjoyed its natural beauty, which inspired him to be creative in writing. He had expressed his willingness to be cremated on the banks of the Bisarnala jan and respecting his wishes, he was cremated there.
He left behind his wife, one son Dr Pradip Kumar Patra, professor of English at Kokrajhar University and a host of well-wishers.