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Village exults after mountain honour

- Wait for mild scientist’s visit

People of Churamanpur village in Buxar district, around 145km west of Patna, woke up on Wednesday to the news of a mountain in Antarctica being named after a hometown boy, err man.

The United States has named a mountain after scientist Akhouri Acchutanand Sinha, originally from the village on National Highway 84 that is home to 500 and odd people.

A 990m mountain at the southeast extremity of Erickson Bluffs in the south part of McDonald Heights has been named Mt Sinha. An adjunct professor in the department of genetics, cell biology and development at the University of Minnesota, Sinha has been recognised by the US Geological Survey for his work as an explorer in 1971-72. He was part of a team that catalogued the population of seals, whales and birds in the pack ice of Antarctica.

The residents could not express their happiness before Sinha but that wasn’t a problem. All of them congratulated his younger brother, Dr RCP Sinha, who lives in Buxar town.

Shivaji Pandey, the husband of the village head, said: “We have decided to felicitate Sinha when he visits the village next time. He comes once a year between December and February.”

This February, Sinha already went by the village, around 5km east of Buxar town. Vishnu Lal, a neighbour, said: “Though Sinha comes from a landlord’s family, he is very meek and mild. We are proud of this mitti ke lal (son of the soil), who has carved a niche not only for himself but also for the state and the nation.”

Shambhu Lal, a relative of Sinha, said: “He observed Holi with the relatives and neighbours. He never misses an opportunity to celebrate any important occasion in the family.” Sinha, popularly known as Ramji, is the eldest among his five siblings. His father was a lawyer as well as Churamanpur mukhiya for over two decades. One of his brothers is also a scientist settled in the US. His son is an engineer in Delhi. Dr RCP Sinha, on the honour bestowed on his elder brother, said: “It’s a matter of pride not only for the family but for the whole country.”

Sinha graduated from Ara college before doing his bachelors and masters at Allahabad University and Patna University, respectively. Before moving to the US, he taught in the zoology department of Ranchi University from November 1956 to July 1961.