First he started a small business in salt and coal in Calcutta. Did very good in this venture.
Then he bought a ship and named it ‘Bengal River’, ran a very efficient steamer liner.
Became the agents to buy food grains for the Government and famed as a trusted merchant.
He owned and ran 3 powerhouses at Narayanganj, Mymensingh and Comilla.
His ‘George Anderson Company’ used to make jute bales in Narayanganj.
He first saw the potential and started tanery and leather business in this part of the world.
This man was Ranada Prasad saha. R P Saha. Ranadaprasad grew up in extreme poverty and could not have much education. He lost his mother at the age of seven. He fled home to Calcutta at the age of 16. He participated in World War I in the Bengal Ambulance Corps and was stationed in Iraq and Karachi. After war, landed a small job in railway but later lost it.
When he was one of the richest man of Bengal, famine of 1943 struck. During the famine, he maintained 275 gruel houses to feed the hungry for 8 months.
He established a charitable hospital, 750-bed Kumudini Hospital, at his native village Mirzapur on the river Lauhajang. On 27 July 1944 Mr Kessy, the Governor of Bengal, formally opened this hospital.
To spread female education, in 1942, he founded a fully residential girls school at Mirzapur and named it ‘Bharateswari Bidyapith’ after Bharateswari Devi, his grandmother. For many years it remained the only residential girls school in Bengal/Bangladesh. Till today, in any national program or international sporting event, the gallery display and choreography display of Bharateswari homes girls are essential.
He also founded the ‘Kumudini College’ at Tangail in 1943 to commemorate his mother .
The ‘Debendra College’ of Manikganj established in 1944 commemorates his father.
Subsequently he set up the ‘Mirzapur Pilot Boys’ School,
Mirzapur Pilot Girls’ School, and
‘Mirzapur Degree College’.
Till today, these fine educational institutes cater college education to a large portion of Bangladesh.
The Maternity Wing of the Dhaka Combined Military Hospital was established with his financial support!!! ( BTW, who gets cared there now?)
After the partition of 1947, rather migrating to India, RP Saha stayed back, and donated his entire property in the name of the ‘Kumudini Welfare Trust’ for the realisation of his ideal ‘Education-Service-Unity-and-Peace’. These trust ran and still running the above mentioned establishments.
And on 7 May 1971 he was killed along with his son by the Pakistani occupation army.
R P saha’s Kumudini welfare Trust still serve his dear Bangladesh as a non-profit organization focusing on the needs of women and the poor in Bangladesh. The 750-bed Kumudini Hospital offers free treatment to the poor from all over the country; Kumudini Hospital School trains 250 nurses a year; Bharateswari Homes, a residential school, offers elementary and secondary education to over 1000 girls; and Kumudini Handcrafts helps over 16,000 artisans, mostly women, generate income by providing training and encouraging the development and preservation of traditional handcraft skills. Kumudini operates its own vegetable dyeing plant using leaves, petals, bark, and roots and has also developed a handmade paper line using the pesky water hyacinth plant.
We give Swadhinota padak to Sharshina Pir, we give away all the medals to all with no significant contribution. Hunmndreds of thousand of padaks will not be able to pay back our respect that is due to him.
Mourn this hero. Hope this can wash out our collective guilt of thirty five years.