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Dhirananda Roy (1902-1971)

Dhirananda Roy came to join the Santiniketan Vidyalaya as a young boy where his uncle, Jagadananda Roy, was a teacher. He was also one of the first batch of students at Sriniketan and joined service there in 1923. He left this assignment after a few years but rejoined in 1949. As the Adhyaksha, Palli Sangathan Vibhaga, he worked till 1963. After his retirement, he functioned as the member secretary of the Sriniketan Advisory Board for some years. Visva-Bharati, Sriniketan in particular, owes a great deal to his dynamic personality and spirit of service.

In a letter written shortly after his death, Leonard Elmhirst wrote:

"...It is very nearly fifty years ago since Dhira entered our Institute at Surul as a fulltime student. His contribution to the villages of Birbhum and to Bolpur were not always known inside the University but were no less real and appreciated by villager and townsfolk alike …..Through our work together in villages, in the process of getting Brati-Balak started, he and Kalimohan and I worked intimately together over many months. It was hard for the University authorities to comprehend what a solid base was laid in those years for the growth of village responsibility and village self-help. A lot of people have meddled with this situation since but the basic approach that Tagore wanted and appreciated was developed by those two men, Dhira and Kalimohan."

[Letter dated 22.10.1971; in VBN, Nov.'71]