A chair dedicated to Bhima Bhoi is being established at the Central University of Odisha in Koraput.

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On Saturday, the Union Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, declared that the Central University of Odisha in Koraput would soon be receiving a Bhima Bhoi Chair, as approved by the University Grants Commission. During the inauguration of the Santha Kabi Bhima Bhoi mandap and library at Kalarahanga, Pradhan noted that the BJP government, headed by Narendra Modi, has drawn on Mahima Gosain’s ideas and Bhima Bhoi’s writings to create plans and programs for the underprivileged.

The speaker mentioned that the University Grants Commission will sanction a Chair at Central University of Odisha in Koraput next month to promote advanced studies and research into the humanitarian philosophy of the renowned saint and Mahima Dharma. He then noted that Santha Kabi Bhima Bhoi, who was an advocate of Mahima Dharma, had a pivotal role in invigorating the cultural and literary awareness in Odisha.

The Centre has set up Bhima Bhoi chairs at various universities in India in order to make Mahima Gosain’s ideas and philosophies applicable to modern society. Following the establishment of the Santha Kabi Bhima Bhoi chairs at the University of Delhi and Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya, Bilaspur in April last year, these Chairs have started to conduct research, according to Pradhan.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) located in Bhubaneswar, which is recognized as a university, has created a Bhima Bhoi Chair and Research Centre in order to advance studies and investigations into the life and writings of this saintly poet.

Bhima Bhoi was an influential philosopher of Mahima Dharma, a humanist cult. His wisdom is embedded in his famous saying, “If I can help to redeem the world from its suffering, I am willing to make the sacrifice.” This quote has been displayed in multiple languages in the United Nations Organization (UNO) building.

Gangadhar Meher University in Sambalpur, a public university, has created a Bhima Bhoi Research Chair to look into social sciences. Sujit Kumar Pruseth, a faculty member of IIM Sambalpur and translator of Bhima Bhoi’s book, mentioned that the saint poet’s works have become significant in modern times. To further advance the understanding of Bhima Bhoi’s writings, more research, translation into other languages, and wider availability are necessary, Pruseth said.

Mayank Tewari

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