Makers of Modern Odisha: Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo

Born on 17th December 1871 in a royal family of princely state of Mayurbhanj, Sri Ram Chandra ascended the throne on 15th August 1892. He worked for the all-round development of Mayurbhanj state and implemented various benevolent measures for the welfare of the people. Pandit Utkalmani Gopabandhu became the friend, philosopher and guide of this ruler. Sri Ram Chandra brought about significant changes in the spheres of language, health and administration. A narrow gauge railway was commissioned between Rupsa – Baripada during his reign. He constructed two major reservoirs at Haldiha and Haladia with an expenditure of Rs.6 lakh from royal treasury. Similarly in the educational sector he raised the number of primary schools from 44 to 400 in his royal jurisdiction.

Although he was the king of Mayurbhanj, he had great love for the entire Orissa. Under the able leadership of Madhusudan he gave momentum to the cause of making Orissa a separate Province. In 1903 Sri Ram Chandra presided over the 1st session of Utkal Sammilani. Afterwards owing to the concerted efforts of this Sammilani the dream of Orissa for becoming a separate State came to reality on 1st April 1936. This illustrious son of Orissa passed away on 22nd February 1912.

Source: Odisha Review, November 2018