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Sri Maheswar Upadhyaya (14th May 1917 - 24th June 2005)

Born on 14.5.1917, in a middle class conservative Brahmin family of village Benapura of Balasore district, Sri Maheswar Upadhyaya was carving for learning from his early childhood. After his Chatasali education he could not carry forward his studies because no primary school was available nearby. Since his father passed away early and the family head would not bear the expenses, he had to knock at the doors of few Jamindars.

During those days only Sanskrit Schools were providing residential education. He got admitted into 2 or 3 such schools all of which closed up within 2 years. Then he took up the sojourn to Jhankad the well known Sarala Peetha and worshiped the deity to enlighten him without taking any food for several days. The locales came to his rescue and feeling his urge for learning arranged for his studies in a nearby Sanskrit school.

Then he started his real sojourn for his educational quest. He left for Nadiya, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya and landed in a famous Vaishnava Math. While working there as a temple cook he resumed his study. After 2 years, he fell ill from typhoid and came in contact with a renowned Ayurvedic Doctor who changed his course of life. On his insistence and help he studied Ayurveda and obtained the degree of Ayurveda Shastri.

In the mean time he was traced by his elder brother and forced to comeback to his village where he started his practice in medicine. He also built a farm to produce Ayurvedic Medicine in consultation with Pandit Suryamani Kar of Basta - a nearby township.

Then he concentrated for the spread of education. First of all he established a lower primary school at his village and an upper primary school at the nearby village Tambakhori. This later school was transformed to free residential high school of a different kind. He was also a founder of another high school at a nearby village Vellora. At the same time he selectively financed the higher studies of some poor boys. He was very secretive about it.

In the later part of his life he founded the Science Education Foundation which was initiated by his daughter-in-law Dr. Jayashree Mohanty at Bhubaneswar. Thus he embodied the very scientific learning and education. This Foundation, headed by Jayashree and managed by two young boys, Satyanarayana Biswal and V.V. Rajkumar, takes care of education of the underprivileged meritorious students when the Government has closed all the avenues to them. This provision is exemplary in Orissa.

His second son, an acclaimed poet, also carried forward this mission among the tribal and downtrodden in the undivided Koraput district while concentrating in Malkangiri through an extensive campaign for free primary education in a realistic sense. He also works in the field of tribal dialect and culture by floating a researcher’s forum in that region.

Maheswar Upadhyaya departed from this earth on 24.6.2005. His memory revokes the determination to carry forward his ideology of spreading education among the wretched of the world more vigorously.

© 26th February, 2017, All Rights Reserved with Science Education Foundation