Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

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Arthur Leonard Schawlow was a scientist from the United States who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981. He is most known for his contributions to the development of the laser and laser spectroscopy, but he also worked on superconductivity and nuclear resonance. Despite his groundbreaking discoveries and successes, he was a humble man who characterized himself as “the most uncompetitive guy you ever saw” and believed that he was best suited to collaborate with other scientists. He was born in the United States and raised in Canada, and he developed a scientific mindset early in life. He tinkered with radio sets and other mechanical objects he could find, and he devoured books on a wide range of topics. He was a great student who wanted to study radio engineering at the Tuition of Toronto, but the country was still struggling from the Great Depression, and his family couldn’t pay the university fees. He did, however, obtain a scholarship to study mathematics and physics at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts. When he graduated, Canada was at war, so he had to put off his academic education for a while. He eventually finished his studies and went on to pursue an academic career in optics, specializing in lasers and their applications in spectroscopy.

Childhood and Adolescence

In a tiny village, he was born to Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi. He was transferred to Calcutta when he was six years old to live with Bhagabat Charan.
Bhagabat Charan came from a huge family who was very fond of him as a child. The house’s youngest daughter lavished special attention on him, instilling in him a deep respect for and compassion for women, which later affected his social actions.

He was so hungry for knowledge that he studied under the streetlights since he couldn’t afford a gas lamp. He was a bright student who was awarded several scholarships to help him further his study.

He studied Sanskrit Grammar, Literature, Vedanta, Smruti, and Astronomy at the Sanskrit College in Calcutta, graduating in 1841. In the meantime, he had passed his Law test in 1839.
Sanskrit College awarded him the title “Vidyasagar” for his extensive understanding of Sanskrit and philosophy.

Career of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

In 1841, he became a Principal Lecturer at Fort William College (FWC). The college secretary, G.T. Marshall, was very impressed by the young man’s dedication and hard work. He spent five years at the college.

He began working as an Assistant Secretary at the Sanskrit College in 1846. During his first year, he proposed a number of improvements to the educational system. Rasomoy Dutta, the College Secretary, was not pleased.
Due to his conflicts with Dutta, Vidyasagar left and took up the position of head clerk at FWC on Marshall’s recommendation. In 1849, he returned to Sanskrit College as a professor of literature, and in 1851, he became the college’s principal.

In 1855, he was appointed as a special inspector of schools. He visited schools all over Bengal during his travels. During his travels, he encountered individuals living in deplorable conditions. Due to a lack of education, superstitions and blind faith were common.

This inspired him to open schools across Bengal in order to share the light of education. Within two months, he had arranged for the construction of 20 schools. He also established 30 schools solely for girls in order to promote gender equality.

In 1854, the FWC was abolished, and a Board of Examiners was established in its place. He was a very active member of the board of directors.

By this time, the Education Department had a new director who did not allow Vidyasagar the independence or respect he deserved to carry out his duties. As a result, in 1854, he resigned from the Sanskrit College.
Disturbed by the fate of India’s child widows, he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of these young girls and women. He was a firm believer in widow remarriage and worked to raise awareness about the problem.

One of the key causes leading to the rise in the number of child widows was the fact that many wealthy high-caste men used to have multiple spouses whom they would leave as widows when they died. As a result, Vidyasagar battled against the polygamy system.

He was a kind individual who pities for the sick, impoverished, and oppressed. He used to give money to the poor on a monthly basis from his salary. He also tended to the ill, let students from the “lower castes” into his college, and cremated unclaimed dead at the cremation.

He recreated the Bengali alphabet as an academic and laid the foundation for Bengali literature. He was the one who changed Bengali typography to include twelve vowels and forty consonants.

Major Projects of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

He is well known for his tireless efforts to combat injustices against women, particularly widows. He encouraged the British Government to take action after being moved by the situation of child widows, and advocated for the passage of The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856.

Personal History and Legacy

He married Dinamani Devi when he was 14 years old, in 1834. Narayan Chandra was the couple’s only child.
Due to his dissatisfaction with his family’s narrow-mindedness, he moved in with the Santhals in ‘Nandan Kanan’ in the Jamtara area, where he spent the last two decades of his life. His health deteriorated in his final years, and he died in 1891.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Net Worth

Ishwar is one of the wealthiest non-fiction authors and one of the most well-known. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar has a net worth of $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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