GUWAHATI, May 2 � The Maniram Dewan Memorial Trust here in association with the Assam Productivity Council and an entrepreneurs� group, observed the 208th birth anniversary of the 19th century pioneer entrepreneur of Assam, Maniram Dutta Dewan Borbhandar Baruah recently as Entrepreneurs� Day, a press release stated.
A function in this connection was arranged at Ganeshguri. In the absence of the president of the trust Dhirendra Nath Chakravartty, the adviser to the trust Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora took the chair. Homage was paid to Maniram Dewan by lighting of the ceremonial lamp in front of his portrait and offering of floral tributes by all the members present.
Vice president of the trust, Bhupendra Nath Das delivered the welcome address and presented a brief account of the memories of Maniram Dewan prevailing in the public mindset after he was sent to the gallows together with his close aide Piyali Baruah in February 1858 at Jorhat, including the unimaginable facts of the drudgery borne by Benudhar Sarmah while authoring the famous historical biography of Maniram Dewan, published in 1950 in Assamese. He said that Sarmah for the first time, celebrated the tithi of Maniram Dewan without fearing the British rulers, i.e., in 1931 at Charing and observed Martyrs� Day in 1952 in a big way, which the then Governor Jairamdas Dalotram inaugurated.
Former director of the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, K Ahmed inaugurated the first Entrepreneurs� Day along with a brief speech, narrating the importance of observing the day to commemorate the illustrious entrepreneurial genius.
Additional general secretary of the trust, Samujal Barooah mentioned the various types of entrepreneurial jobs carried out by Maniram Dewan prior to opening two commercial tea gardens � Cinnamara and Senglung, and thus giving the British a scare.
A resolution was adopted unanimously to urge the State Government to declare the birth anniversary day of the multifaceted entrepreneur of the 19th century as Entrepreneurs� Day of Assam. Speakers who shared their views, included Radha Borah, adviser to the trust; Jiten Kalita of the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati; Samir Baruah, retired general manager of the Indian Overseas Bank; Pranab Jyoti Neog of Xaviers Foundation and Haripada Roy Choudhury, retired professor of Cotton College.
In his presidential address, Lakshmi Nandan Bora shed light on entrepreneur Nandeswar Borah, who set up the Hotel Ambarish towards the later part of his life.
Offering the vote of thanks, Aroon Chandra Barooah, working president of the Maniram Dewan Trust, mentioned Paula Ann Winchester of Kansas City, who is involved in the tea trade and toured eastern Assam on February last to know about the history of the origin of tea. While visiting the Cinnamara Tea Estate, she was shocked to see the pitiable condition of the spot where the bodies of Maniram and Piyali were buried after they were hanged by the British in 1858. She spontaneously wished to erect a beautiful tombstone at the burial spot of Maniram Dewan. When the garden manager told her about a similar initiative on the pipeline by the Maniram Dewan Trust of Guwahati, she offered to join hands with the trust in the noble venture.
Even after returning to the USA, the lady sent a long letter to the trust, indicating her desire to work with the trust in this matter. Since 2010, the trust has been submitting project proposals to all high-level tea bodies of India, besides the departments concerned of the State and Central governments for erection of memorials of Maniram Dewan at three other sites besides Cinnamara, but to no avail till date.