People tap Dispur to honour pioneers - Statues, street names mooted

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 23.07.07

One built a township, the other a school. Now, the people they did it all for, want to say thank you.

Those who benefited from the pioneering ventures of philanthropists Jhumarmal Jain and Ganpatrai Dhanuka, both of whom passed away early this month, have joined hands to get Dispur to honour their contribution to the city and to society.

Several individuals and associations have moved the government to name streets in the city after the two and set up their statues at crucial points so that they serve as an inspiration to the youth.

Taking the help of a host of organisations, including local clubs and business units, the beneficiaries have mooted that a statue each of Jain and Dhanuka be installed at Bijoynagar and Guwahati respectively, and a road each be named after them as a mark of respect.

Jain was born at Palashbari in Kamrup district on October 14, 1917. He played an important role in building Bijoynagar as a business hub after the Brahmaputra washed away a portion of his birthplace in the fifties.

“After the demise of Jain, also known as the architect of Bijoynagar, on July 1, the 400-odd families living here felt his memories must be preserved for posterity,” said Neeru Gangwal, a senior resident of Bijoynagar.

While letters have already been shot off to the government “expressing these sentiments”, residents of Bijoynagar have decided to launch a signature campaign next week to press for their demands under the banner of various local clubs.

Jain was associated with several organisations like Textile Merchants Association of Assam and Mahavir Bhawan Trust and took the initiative to set up the Digambar Jain Temple at SRCB Road in Fancy Bazar in 1965. The man who organised the first eye camp in south Kamrup in 1947, also donated his eyes for the benefit of science.

Dhanuka, who died three days after Jain, was 98. An industrialist and educationist, he had been associated with several organisations and institutions, including Gauhati Commerce College, Gauhati Town Club, Guwahati Gaushala, Marwari Maternity Hospital and Marwari Pustakalaya.

In recognition of his contribution to society, Dhanuka was awarded the prestigious Radha Govinda Barooah Award.

Dhanuka was also a member of the largest and oldest trade body of the region, Kamrup Chamber of Commerce.

Last week the chamber sent a letter to the state government to install a statue of Dhanuka at the busy intersection of TRP and MS Roads.

“We have also urged the government to name a road near P.S. Dhanuka Girls Higher Secondary School, which is one of his undertakings, after him,” a member of the chamber said.

East Guwahati MLA Robin Bordoloi and Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner R.C. Jain assured they would do everything within their jurisdiction to respond to the sentiments of the people and accord recognition to the services rendered by the two philanthropists.

“Being public representatives, we have a responsibility to acknowledge contributions that benefit society. It is not because they hail from my constituency but because of what they have done that they need to be honoured,” Bordoloi said.

“Certain procedures are followed in the government. When the proposals are put before me, I shall certainly forward them to the government for a favourable consideration,” the deputy commissioner said.