Chowdhury, Hemchandra

Chowdhury, Hemchandra (1833-1915) Social worker, patron of education, Zamindar of one-sixteenth portion of Pukhuria pargana. He was born in the Zamindar family of Ambaria under Gopalpur upazila of Tangail district in 1833. His father's name was Kalichandra Chowdhury.

Hemchandra Chowdhury, a benevolent landlord, constructed roads, hospitals, bridges, ponds etc. for the welfare of his people. He established the Shashimukhi English High School, named after his mother, in order to expand educational opportunities. Besides, he donated land for the construction of Gopalpur High School building and donated substantial amount of money for the construction of Pingna English High School, Dhaka Medical School, Gopalpur Girls School and Barisal School for the Deaf and Dumb. In addition, Hemchandra donated money for Pingna Charitable Hospital, construction of Mymensingh Victorial Hospital and Mymensingh Old Hospital building. He facilitated to build Iron Bridges for the Tirtha Jatri (pilgrims) to climb up the Chandranath Hill. Hemchandra founded Hemnagar Haradurga Devi Chowdhurani Cherity Hospital in 1901.

He distributed quinine medicine by post among the local people when there was an outbreak of Malaria in Tangail in the beginning of Twentieth Century. With his assistance, clinical services were provided at Haradurga Devi Chowdhurani Hospital at that time, with a total of 7 personnel including 2 doctors, 1 compounder and 1 trained Dhatri or midwife.

Hemchandra also enjoyed a good reputation as a poet and lyricist. He also wrote a few books of poetry. He built a stage for exhibition of drama within his residence. He also brought out a periodical titled Hemnagar Hitoishi. His place of residence Parir Dalan is well-known as an archaeological and tourism site. The Hemnagar College is presently housed at his residence. The place 'Hemnagar' has also been named after him. Hemchandra died in 1915. [Khan Mahbub]