Kumar Ajit Prasad Singh Deo was a prince, the younger son of Raja Jyoti Prasad Singh Deo of Panchkote Raj state, located at Kashipur, near Adra (now in Purulia district in West Bengal).
Ajit Prasad Singh Deo moved with his family to Purulia town and ran businesses that thrived with time. He supported students from deprived backgrounds and treated them as his own. This story is about that.
One young boy, Basudam, used to walk every day from his village, Ghoragara, 7 miles away, to Victoria School in Purulia. After school, back all the way to Ghoragara. Ajit Prasad Singh Deo spotted him, talked to his father and offered to provide accommodation and boarding to Basudam. This will save him the 14 mile walk every day.
Thus changed the script of Basudam’s life.
Once Basudam completed high school, Basudam’s father requested Ajit Prasad Singh Deo to get him a job. “Matriculation” was a big qualification in India of the 1940s, and a job would have been the perfectly logical path to pursue, specially for a boy coming from a family that could not afford two square meals a day.
But Basudam wanted to study further. Ajit Prasad Singh Deo indulged, sent him to BHU for further studies. Basudam completed his I.Sc. and then his B.Sc. from BHU. Again, with Ajit Prasad Singh Deo’s support, he pursued his M.Sc. in Geology from Patna University, before joining Central Fuel Research Institute, a CSIR lab, where he pursued his science and research career. Basudam’s career in research and exploration led him to a Ph.D. degree as well, from the Indian School of Mines, but Ajit Prasad Singh Deo did not live to see this.
Ajit Prasad Singh Deo and his family’s involvement did not end with funding Basudam’s education. Basudam became a member of the family. Ajit Prasad Singh Deo was father, and his wife, Sarojini Devi, mother to Basudam. Their children were brothers and sisters of Basudam, and with time, grandchildren were nephews and nieces.
A few years after his marriage, Basudam was diagnosed with a life threatening disease. Sarojini Devi and her sons and daughters responded like a close family would. Not just in organising the best available treatment, but being with him, for the one and half years it demanded till he completely recovered. This and many other instances provide the confidence that the deepest emotions among humans, e.g. love, caring and sharing need not be limited within relationships by birth alone. It is for us to broaden our perception of who we are, and who is our family – and enjoy the expanded sense of our perspective.
Basudam’s life was not the only one impacted by Ajit Prasad Singh Deo’s perspective of the world around. There were many deprived children who grew up along with Basudam, going on to pursue successful professions.
But, as you have understood by now, this story is Basudam’s. Basudam understood how education can change lives. His son, Kalyan Banerjee, pursued a career in computing before being drawn into education and eventually conceiving Klorofeel School, building it with patience along with Dr Haribandhu Panda, Anand Rao Ladi, Adarsh Rath, Gopal Krishna Rao, Somnath Patnaik, Taniya Mukherjee and all the early teachers you have experienced so far.
Wish you all a hearty welcome to Klorofeel School. We are inspired by Ajit Prasad Singh Deo whose thinking and actions brought transformational shift in Basudam Banerjee’s life.
Together, we shall create something beautiful. And we have already begun the journey.
This talk was delivered by Kalyan Banerjee to Class 6 students of Klorofeel School, Nov 2021
Ajit Singhdeo’s image adorns the intersection of the two main corridors of Klorofeel School.
Truly an inspiring story. When children in school like to dream big, such messages always help them realize that everything is possible.
Keep flying higher!
Uma Maheshvari Shankar
love, caring and sharing need not be limited within relationships by birth alone – this sentence is so powerful and liberating!
B Mohan Kumar
Honestly the ending was a surprise!
I imagined it was a 3rd person story
A befitting tribute to Ajit Prasad Singhdeo by none other than the seed of change sown by him. Kudos to Kalyan Banerjee for living up to the ideal and spreading wings to greater heights.
It is said we have various debts those of god, parents, and guru/education.The debt of guru can only be paid by educating others.Kalyan and team are doing by establishing the school.
Krorolfeel school established with such nobel thoughts is bound to make a difference.
Wishing all the best to school.
Great personalities are always remembered, they play a unseen role which govern our role in life. We are proud to have one of his family , by the name Sri Kalyan Banerjee among us. God bless him.
I was not aware of this story is about your father Kalyan!
No surprise then how passionate you are about making quality education accessible to the most needed and deserving sections of the society.
अन्नदानं परं दानं विद्यादानमतः परम् ।
अन्नेन क्षणिका तृप्ति र्यावज्जीवं च विद्यया ॥
May your efforts be aided by Divine Blessings!
What an incredible story! Kalyanji, Triloki Pandey and I admire you for your beautiful humanity, true giving spirit and fellow feeling. Klorofeel school exemplifies your dream and aspirations. Wishing you all the success and happiness in your endeavor.
Very inspiring story. Kudos to Kalyan Banerjee for taking forward the legacy of Ajit Prasad Singhdeo by establishing this school for the under privileged children.
A very inspiring story. Good way to motivate children. Congratulations to Kalyan and his team of dedicated staff. May God bless their efforts.
Klorofeel residential school established with philanthropic vision, inspired by a legendary patron, ingrained with travail and triumph of a father who raised Kalyan as exemplary student in school, IIT, co-founder of Mindtree , and now an educationist with purpose and preparedness , is setting the pace of Klorofel as an emerging residential school in Berhampur.
Kalyan as exemplary student in school, IIT, co-founder of Mindtree , and now an educationist with purpose and preparedness , is setting the pace of Klorofel as an emerging residential school in Berhampur.
A candid inspiring story for all the educationist. How education can transform the family and the society in a silent manner is shared succinctly in this story. Looking forward to read more in the future.
Now I know the source of your inspiration. You are carrying forward the spirit of this truly great prince through your school. This vision of Klorofeel is born from it. It has come to you from your father’s life. I congratulate you for founding this school.