Eminent retired teacher of repute and octogenarian social activist Puspa Dhar Saikia of Borachuba village of Hazarikapara area of Darrang district breathed his last at 5.30 pm on November 14 at his residence following a prolonged weakness. He was 88. He took his retirement as a teacher of Satkhali Primary School in 1998. After retirement, he was actively involved with various constructive social activities in the locality.
Eldest of five brothers and one sister, Saikia was born to the marginal village farmers Phatik Saikia and Debajani Saikia of Borachuba on April 24 of 1934. Saikia since his childhood days was very well acquainted with the struggle for survival and following the untimely demise of his father, Puspa Dhar Saikia was too young to earn the livelihood to maintain the family. Finding no alternative he left his school and in 1957 got his appointment as an assistant teacher in a private school at Bhokelikanda –a riverine sar area of Brahmaputra river. As the lady luck had smiled on this struggling boy, the next year of joining the school was provincialized and started receiving Rs. 40.00 per month as the monthly salary. The poverty since his childhood has taught him well to struggle in life which even led him to earn his livelihood as a boatman on a daily wage basis from Borachuba ghat to Guwahati on Brahmaputra river. He also earned expertize in bamboo and cane craftsmanship. In 1964 he tied the nuptial knot with Kiran Deka of Kamarpara village. On seeing the sufferings of the village children, in 1979 he founded Luitporia Middle English School at Borachuba which benefitted the children in attending their classes at Hazarikapara covering a distance of 4 km on foot.
On receipt of the information of his demise, former legislator of Mangaldai Guru Jyoti Das, Superintendent of Police Er Sushanta Biswa Sarma, senior Police Officer Amrit Bhuyan, young entrepreneur Siddhartha Barua, actor Manash Das, President of Mangaldai Thana Committee of Village Defence Organization Nayan Das, Officer in Charge of Mangaldai and Sipajhar Police Station Inspector Mosco Saikia and Inspector Niranjan Barua immediately rushed to his residence to offer their last respect.
He has left behind his bereaved wife, four daughters and only son Mukut Saikia- a senior BJP activist cum Deputy Adviser of Village Defence Organization.
On this auspicious day of Adya Shraddha, I offer my hearty tribute in loving memory of a very humble teacher Puspa Dhar Saikia and pray for the eternal peace of the departed pious soul. Om Shanti!!
Bhargab Kumar D