Parbati Sankar Roy Choudhury
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Parbati Sankar Roy Choudhury (Rai Parvatisankara Chaudhuri), (c. 1850-1918) was the zamindar of Teota (now in Manikganj District, Bangladesh) and a philanthropic landholder. He was born in the early 1850s, and was the elder son of Joy Sankar Choudhuri of Teota. Teota zamindars were one of the well-known zamindars of Bengal. Their ancestral surname was Dasgupta (Dash-sharma).
Parbati Sankar was an active member of the British Indian Association, the Indian Association, the Indian National Congress, and the Dacca district board. He was also one of the founders of the Indian Industrial Association, which was set up to promote the material and economic development of the region. As part of the economic reconstruction programme, Parbati Sankar attempted to make use of the material raw resources available within the Teota zamindari (in Goalondo, Faridpur and elsewhere). His name is also associated with the formulation of a concrete and detailed plan (1890s) of extension of the railways to Manikganj, linking it up with the town of Dacca on the east and the river port of Goalando on the west.
Parbati Sankar is best remembered, however, for pioneering the 'dharmagola' system of co-operative grain banking, intended to alleviate scarcity and resulting famine. 'Dharmagolas' or grain banks were established at various places within the Teota Estate and elsewhere in Dinajpur and the system was a success. These grain banks were registered as formal co-operative societies in the second decade of the 20th century. Parbati Sankar wrote a number of articles in which he not only outlined the basic features of the 'dharmagola' system, but also clearly brought out its many virtues and advantages. He spoke on the "Indebtedness of the Bengal peasantry" at an annual session of the Congress (INC) in the early 1900s.
Parbati Sankar Rai was honoured with the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal in 1912. He died in Calcutta in 1918.
Notes and references
- Mukherjee, Amitava (2012). Food Security in Asia. New Delhi: Sage Publications. p. 185, note 16. ISBN 978-81-321-0906-8.
- Mukherjee, Amitava (1 June 2010), Cummonity Based Responses to Food Insecurity (PDF), Occational Papers 1, Bogor, Indonesia: Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture, United Nations[dead link]
- Chaudhuri, Rai Parvatisankara (1901). A note on dharma gola, or, A system of co-operative corn bank for prevention of famine, with rules and regulations. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press.