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Trader’s college dream sees light in Hili

Sitting inside the VIP tent on the Kushmandi High School grounds on November 27 at a meeting with Mamata Banerjee, Amulya Biswas heaved a sigh of relief as the chief minister promised Hili a college.

Mamata’s visit to South Dinajpur may not have brought all the good news expected by local residents. She did not announce the upgrade of the district hospital to a medical college. Nor the resumption of flights from Balurghat to Calcutta.

But she did bring warmth amid the coldness of Hili, on the border with Bangladesh, by announcing a long overdue college, for which Biswas had pledged land a few years ago.

The chief minister announced 37 projects in South Dinajpur, including setting up a degree college in Hili block.

Biswas, a businessman and a social worker, had earmarked 15 bighas of land for this purpose where the proposed college would be set up.

Biswas had always dreamt of setting up the college in Hili block to put an end to the struggle of the students from the block to reach the colleges in Balurghat, 26km from Hili.

District deputy magistrates and a University Grants Commission team had inspected the land and had approved it. The proposal was also sent up to higher officials of the state government.

“I’m very happy that my dream is at last coming true. I was one of the invitees to the meeting with the chief minister at Kushmandi. When the announcement was made my happiness knew no bounds,” said Biswas.

The market price of the land is more than Rs 60 lakh.

The 15-bigha land in Hili donated by Amulya Biswas. Picture by Mithun Roy

Biswas is a prosperous businessman, who owns various shops and an ice cream factory in Hili.

He runs a charitable homeopathy clinic where patients get free medicine and advice.

There is no college in Hili block, though it has around 25 high schools from where thousands of students pass the higher secondary every year.

Biswas had been dreaming of a college in Hili since he was a student of Balurghat College.

“I used to travel 52km every day, to college and back home. I would feel the hardship of travelling on bad roads. From then, I have been dreaming of setting up a college,” said Biswas.

“I had purchased land near the state highway in Hili for this purpose a year ago. I had contacted the district magistrate and other dignitaries in the administration. I was in a little doubt after the initial nod from the administration. But when the name was announced yesterday I felt really good,” said Biswas.

He said the college would be named after his late parents Subal Chandra Biswas and Bimalsundari Biswas.

Biswas suffers from kidney and heart-related ailments.

“My health is not sound. I have to go to Chennai and Calcutta every month for treatment. I don’t know how long I will survive. I would like to see students start studying here,” said Biswas.

“The project of the degree college was announced at the meeting with the chief minister. We have been working on the project. I hope Biswas’s dream will be fulfilled very soon,” said Tapas Chaudhury, district magistrate of South Dinajpur.