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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a 19th century Indian polymath, educationist, and social reformer from West Bengal. He was born in 1820 in a poor Brahmin family in the small village of Birsingha in the Midnapore district of West Bengal. Despite facing financial difficulties, Vidyasagar excelled in his studies and went on to become one of the most prominent figures of the Bengal Renaissance, a cultural and intellectual movement that took place in Bengal in the 19th century.
Vidyasagar began his career as a teacher and later became a professor of English literature and history at Fort William College in Calcutta. He was known for his progressive and rational approach to education, and was instrumental in introducing the use of vernacular languages in schools and colleges.
In addition to his contributions to education, Vidyasagar was also a prominent social reformer. He worked towards the improvement of the status of women in Indian society, and was a strong advocate for widow remarriage. He was also an advocate for the education of women and the abolition of the caste system. He also wrote a book “Bidhava O Prasanubhuti” on widow marriage.
Vidyasagar was also known for his work in the field of Bengali literature. He wrote many books on various subjects, including grammar, literature, and philosophy. His most famous work, “Borno Porichoy” (Introduction to the Alphabet), is still widely used as a primer for teaching Bengali to children.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar died on 29 July 1891 in Calcutta, and is widely considered as one of the most important figures of the Bengal Renaissance. His contributions to education, social reform, and literature have had a lasting impact on Bengali society and continue to be celebrated today.
In summary Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was one of the most prominent figures of the Bengal Renaissance, who made substantial contributions to education, social reform, and literature. He was known for his progressive and rational approach to education, and was instrumental in introducing the use of vernacular languages in schools and colleges. He was also a strong advocate for the education of women, widow remarriage and the abolition of the caste system. His contributions have had a lasting impact on Bengali society and continue to be celebrated today.