How a Gutted, Militantly-Destroyed Temple, Torched Dormitory, Illegally-Occupied Ashram Turn Around? The Case of Pranab Ashram Boys’ Hostel of Madaripur, Bangladesh
Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar
Probini Foundation Report; January 20, 2019
At this site a Hindu-ascetic Swami Pranabananda of nearby Bajitpur village, an Indian Freedom Fighter of early 1900s of the Colonial British Era, built his first boys’ hostel or dormitory in 1910s to educate poor Hindus and Muslims who otherwise would have no access to higher education. The dorm and all the buildings were either torched or destroyed by the Army of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its Bengali allies during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War when the entire Hindu minority were targeted for killing along with the pro-independence and secular Muslims. An illegal occupier had built a two-story building on the property. In late 1990s when Probini’s help was sought the ashram was on its last breadth. After Probini rebuilt the dormitory life seemed to have returned with full energy. Please check https://empireslastcasualty.blogspot.com/2008/12/educating-poor-and-orphaned-in.html for additional information as well as https://empireslastcasualty.blogspot.com/2016/02/bangladesh-river-of-humanity-celebrated.html. In early 2019 a Probini delegation visited the ashram, the hostel and stayed at the guest house.
In early 2000s the Probini Foundation Student Hostel was built with donations from Mr. & Mrs. Srikant and Anindita Mookherjee, Probini Foundation (New York) Members, Pranab Ashram Members, In Memory of the Late Sudhir & Padmabati Das by Daughter Baby Chowdhury, Beta Alpha Branch of Sigma Lambda Beta International Student Organization of the State University of New York, Old Westbury, Mr. & Mrs. Suprabhat & Uma Sengupta, Mr. & Mrs. Shyamal & Ruby Sarkar, Dr. Kusumita Priscilla Pedersen, Dr. Shefali Sengupta Dastidar & Dr. (Miss) Joyeeta Ghosh Dastidar, Dr. & Mrs. Pinaki Mukherji & Kavita Bali, Sri Jonathan Patrick Buchanan, Young Supporters of Probini, Mr. & Mrs. Sukha Ranjan and Namita Mookherjee, Mr. & Mrs. Prabal & Swapna Mukerji, Mr. & Mrs. Ramapada & Manjula Mukhopadhyay, In Memory of the Late Verma Koon Linger by Daughter Dr. Eloise Linger, Dr. Sabyasachi & Master Shuvo Ghosh Dastidar (Date: Maghi Purnima [Full Moon of the Month of Magh] Magh 22, 1410; February 6, 2004)
The head of the campus is Rev. Jiban Maharaj, a Hindu monk. It seemed that in the past years Maharaj and resident students found courage and confidence to march forward. Now the campus not only has the dorm but also a brick-and-concrete two-story guest accommodation and an office space, a second student dorm building, a temple open to all, a kitchen and more. Now Maharaj is planning a multi-storied building accommodating a number of needs. How have his poor supporters, mostly belonging to oppressed groups have had self-confidence to come up with such development? Seeing is believing!
Should anyone be interested in helping the Madaripur Hostel, they may write to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
On Left the Beginning of Ashram's Proposed Multistoried Building
Nighttime Welcome with Dr. Abdul Bari
The Probini Boys' Hostel
The Donor's Tablet
Remains of the Damaged Building
Offering a Prayer at the Ashram
Path Leading to a New Hostel