Ishwarchandra Bandyopadhyay was born in 1820 in Bengal. ‘Vidyasagar’ is an academic title in Sanskrit, which was then awarded to the outstanding scholars by the Government Sanskrit College at Kolkata. The people addressed him as ‘Vidyasagar’ instead of his name ‘Bandyopadhyay’.
As a student, Vidyasagar was brilliant. He earned scholarship in almost all the examinations by scoring high marks. In 1850, he was appointed as a Professor of Literature in the Sanskrit College, and later, he became the principal there.
Vidyasagar was a kind-hearted man, and an ardent social worker. He found that the young Hindu Widows wasted their lives without any purpose. So he went against the
Orthodox Brahmin Community, and got the ‘Hindu Widow Re-marriage Bill’ passed by the government. Thus he was able to save the lives of many young widows who were educated and remarried to lead decent lives.
Vidyasagar worked hard to establish girls’ schools to promote women education. In those days, the girls were not allowed by their parents to go to school. He wrote many books for the primary education of children.
Vidyasagar passed away in 1891. There is a college and a university in Bengal after his name. He is remembered by his countrymen as a learned man, patriot, author and a great social reformer.