Saturday, April 1

Presidency alumni turn friends in need for Boipara

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Retired surgeon of UK’s National Health Service Nabakumar Basu is restless. Books floating in water and flattened stalls lining the two sides of College Street have prompted him to connect with friends across the globe to find out how funds can be generated to help re-build the book hub, which cradled his adolescence, youth and his intellectual foundation.

Son of Samaresh Basu, one of Bengal’s best known fiction writers, Basu, too, is an author. He still spends hours on College Street on his frequent trips to home.

Basu is just one of the many people whose reaction to the boipara destruction post Amphan is emotionally charged. College Street and the lanes and bylanes that open up from it , all dotted with tiny bookstores, have been more than just a location for generations.

It’s no wonder that people have come together to raise funds to bring boipara back to life. The Presidency alumni have started their a crowdfunding initiative because it was around the periphery of the college-turned-university that a large number of the makeshift book stalls had been housed for ages. Some of the alumni behind the initiative are former state home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy, former advocate general Jayanta Mitra and former CEO of Prasar Bharati Jawhar Sircar.

“Alumni have been calling from abroad to find out how they can contribute. Ritendra Banerjee, a 1995 alumnus from the physiology department, who is now the group managing director at a leading data analytics firm in California is one of them,” said secretary of the alumni association Bivas Chaudhuri. The alumni proposed to rebuild 800 bookstalls by transferring Rs 3,000 to every owners’ bank account.

The near-centurion, Mitra O Ghosh, has teamed up with crowdfunding agency Milaap to start the ‘Boi Para Relief Society’ to collect donations to help re-build as many stalls as possible. In four days, people with roots in the city donated a total of Rs 9 lakh to the fund, said Mitra O Ghosh spokesperson Indrani Roy Mitra. The Publishers and Booksellers Guild has, too, started a crowdfunding platform with SBI.

Poet Srijato has also started a crowdfunding project, ‘Boi Parar Pashe’, with two poets Akash Ganguly and Susnato Chowdhury.


Source: Times of India

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