Ramakrushna Nanda

(15 February 1906 – 28 October 1994 / Bairoi, Orissa / India)

Biography of Ramakrushna Nanda

Ramakrushna Nanda was born in small village in Orissa called Bairoi. An exponent of children’s literature, he composed the song "Ahe Dayamaya Biswa Bihari", which was reportedly a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi while he was at Sabarmati ashram. This song was included in his Oriya text book Sahitya Sopana, and went on to become the most popular song in Orissa.

Early Life

When Nanda was fourteen his father Madhusudan Nanda died. His education began in a temporary school in Kantapada and later on came to Cuttack to join Revenshwa Collegiate school. There he wrote the first article of his life in his school magazine Chandrika. The struggle for independence was just starting at that time. In Orissa it was Pundit Gopobandhu who had taken the leadership. Ramakrushna was inspired by Gopabandhu and joined the freedom struggle by leaving the school and started working as a Swecha Sebaka. He stayed in Alkasrama and from that day Mahatma Gandhi and Ramakrushna Paramhansa became his role model.

He then met Pundit Nilakantha Das, who inspired him to pursue his studies at Satybadi Jatiya Bidyalaya. There he learned Devnagiri. At an early age of nineteen he was in to his first job at a monthly salary of twenty rupees. At this age he got married to Soudamini Devi.

At that time, only English medium schools run by the British government were recognized. Therefore, Ramakrushna had to appear two matric exams, one for the Satyabadi school and another for the English medium school. To meet his expenses he started few tuitions. He enrolled for both master in arts and law. But financial problems compelled him to start working as a teacher in Banki School. He then joined Baripada School as an assistant teacher. In 1933 Orissa witnessed one of the most devastating floods, and Ramakrushna got himself in to the rescue work. In his village Bairoi he started a social organization called Narayan Samiti.

Getting established as a writer for children in Oriya Language

After working for six years at the Baripada high school he came back to Cuttack to earn his Bachelors in Education. He came back to Baripada after one year and wrote Oriya text book Sahitya Sopana. He left his job at Baripada and joined as the head master in Bhingarpur high school. In 1946 he left this job and came back to Cuttack. On 21 July 1947 Ramakrushna started his own press Parijata. In 1951 his mother died and in August 1952, Sansar magazine's first issue was out. In 1961, however, due to problems between the management and workers he had to shut down the press.

Taking an off from business he got more time for his writings, and in this time some stories and songs for children were written. By this time he was a public figure and was leading a hectic life, attending meetings, writing books and at the same time managing his family of eight daughters, one son and many grandchildren.

On 13 August 1988 his wife Saudamini Devi died. Prior to his final illness he was working on the second edition of Biswa Parichaya. He died on 28 October 1994.

Awards

1975 - Orissa Sahitya Akademi, Bhubaneswar
1976 - Sishu Sahitya Samiti, Government of Orissa
1978 - Jadumani Sahitya Sansada, Udayapur
1979 - Kalika Sanskrutika Anusthana, Cuttack
1979 - Gokarnika Sahitya Samaj, Badachana
1979 - Bharatiya Jatiya Sangathana
1979 - Tiki Duniya Sishu Patrika Anusthana
1980 - "Jhumuka" honoured by Orissa Sahitya Academy, Bhubaneswar
1980 - Udaya Bhanu, Cuttack
1980 - Revenswa Colligiate School, Cuttack
1981 - Nilasaila, Cuttack
1981 - Unmegha Patrika
1982 - Sarala Upayana, Bhubaneswar
1982 - Utkala Pathaka Sansada, Cuttack
1982 - Indian Metals Public Charitable Trust
1983 - Kuantara Sishu Patrika
1987 - Manapaban Sishu Patrika
1988 - Radhnatha Pathagara, Soro
1988 - Manimanika, Cuttack
1989 - Berhampur Sishu Sahitya Karmasala
1989 - Sishu Sahitya Akademi, Orissa
1993 - Utkala Santana - Utkala Santana

Ramakrushna Nanda's Works:

1930 - Tulsidas
1931 - Tulsidas Dohabali
1933 - Pratidhwani
1936-46 - Sangram O Sadhana (Part 1 and Part 2)
1948 - Don Quixot (Translation)
1949 - Bigyanara Kuhuka
1962 - Biswa Parichaya (Oriya Bhasa Kosha)
1969 - Jibana Taranga
1975 - Jhumuka
1977-84 - Chaati Gacha Series (Athara Phula, Kodie Phula, Baisi Phula, Teisi Phula, Chabisi Phula, Subarna Seu, Marana Doli, Sagara Kanya)
1982 - Oriya Sishu sahitya and sangita Sankalana
1982 - Prakurtira Galpapuri
1982 - Indradhanu (Translation)
1983 - Ama Bana Jangala Katha (Translation)
1983 - Ama Sarira (Translation)
1984 - Suna Pahacha
1984 - Ama Jatiya Pasu, Jatiya Pakhi
1985 - Ama Jatiya Pataka O Jatiya Sangita, Jatiya Puspa O Jatiya Pratika
1986 - Jibana Rahasya
1988 - Ratna Pakhuda (Part 1 and Part 2)
1989 - Satra Phula
1989 - Adekha Banara Phula
1989 - Pachatantra Kahani (Part 1, 2 and 3)
1992 - Lekhanira Pathasala
1993 - Bhabi Dekhantu
1994 - Tuntunira Bahi
1994 - Biswa Parichaya (2nd Edition)

Apart from all this he was also involved in writing text books in Oriya, which were used in schools for almost three decades.
1934 - 37 - Sahitya Sopana
1938 - Sahitya Bodha
1940 - Rachna Darpana
1944 - 45 - Patha Sopana

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