ISHWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR (1820 - 1891)
Pandit Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay, popularly known as Vidyasagar, was a great humanist, a renowned scholar and a powerful social reformer. He was born in a very poor family in Birshingha village in Midnapore district in 1820. He won several scholarships and rose to become the Principal of Sanskrit College. He contributed greatly in the field of women's education and also opened the gates of the Sanskrit College for the non-Brahmins. Vidyasagar powerfully advocated the cause of women's uplift. He attacked polygamy, protested against child marriage, worked for the promotion of female education. He set up 35 girls' schools in Bengal. He dug up old Sanskrit (Prasara Samhita) references and proved that vedl"c texts sanctioned widow marriage. He then sent a petition signed by 987 persons to the government of India urging it for legislative action. His efforts were rewarded when the Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act (act W of 1856) legalized marriage of widows and declared issues from such marriages as Legitimate. This great man passed away in 1892.
Born- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was born in a Hindu Brahmin family to Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi at Birsingha village in the Ghatal subdivision of Paschim Midnapore District.
Related Places- Bhagabat Charan's house in Burrabazar (Kolkata), Birsingha village (Paschim Midnapore).