Bhubaneswar (LocalWire) July 13: Odisha reminisced Karmveer Gourishankar Ray, one of the prominent figures among the makers of modern Odisha and savior of Odia language, on his 181st birthday anniversary today.
Paying tribute to the legendary leader, chief minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted about his contribution towards protecting and preserving the Odia culture.
Born on 13 July 1838 to a Bengali Zamindar family at village Dikhitapada near Salepur in Cuttack, Ray is recognised as one of the prominent makers of Modern Odisha.
He is known to save Odia language and literature when it was on the verge of losing recognition as a regional language during the 19th century.
As a child, Ray was a brilliant student and an admirer of quality education.
After completing his schooling, he managed to receive scholarship for higher studies.
When unfavorable circumstances seemed to block his chances of pursuing higher education, a determined Ray set off for Hoogly on his own.
He rode to Balasore in a bullock-cart for 12 days and from there, he walked for 10 days to finally reach Hoogly.
After pursuing higher education, Ray returned to Odisha and stayed in Balasore to serve as a professor for quite a long time.
Among his students were Baikuntha Nath Dev, Radhanath Ray and Madhusudan Das.
Ray’s contribution in preserving the state’s art, craft, music and culture and creating a new chapter of Odia Journalism was immense.
He had directed various co-operative movements, printing and publishing of art and crafts.
He founded the Cuttack Printing Company and established Utkal Deepika, the first Oriya newspaper, in 1886 and was an integral part of the Utkal Sammelan founded by Madhusudan Das.
He conducted relief services for the people of the state after it was plagued by a famine in 1866 in which at least one-third of the population perished.
He breathed his last on 7 March 1917.