West Bengal Heritage Commission (WBHC) has decided to conserve the building on 13, Bidhan Sarani (now 13A Bidhan Sarani) where Kadambini Ganguly once lived. Before Google marked the 160th birth anniversary of one of India’s first women doctors on July 18, great grandson of Dwarakanath and Kadambini Ganguly, Rajib Gangulee had already written an email to the chief minister expressing concern over the demolition of this Grade II heritage building that has been witness to numerous historic events. WBHC is now trying to trace the current owner so that work on conservation can begin at the earliest.
The house was originally owned by barrister Gobindo Gupta. “During the 1870s, it belonged to Rashbehari and Bipinbehari Laha of the famous Laha family,” Gangulee said. The Lahas rented out the house to Sadharon Brahmo Samaj. Many members of the Brahmo Samaj would stay here. Gangulee’s great grandparents used to live in this house between 1885 and 1898. “Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury lived there for ten years. Five of his children, including Sukumar Ray, were born there,” he said.
Currently, this house lies in utter neglect. Chairperson of WBHC Shuvaprasanna is saddened that such a building is on the verge of collapse although it was declared a Grade II heritage building in 1997. “It is our responsibility to ensure that we conserve a building that has such historical importance. I will immediately start work on tracing the current owner of this building and see how it can be preserved. Along with an engineer, I will be visiting the studio of Gopeswar Paul in Kumartuli on Tuesday and see how the repair work can begin soon,” he said.Swarnali Chattopadhya, the administrator of Purono Kolkatar Golpo on Facebook, described it as a “symbol” of Bengal Renaissance. “Everyone who lived in this building has contributed to the Bengal Renaissance. A graded heritage building of such importance should never be neglected this way.”
Source: Times of India