Cover Story: A Silent Social Worker
Intro: Despite being born in Bangladesh, brought up in Delhi and Kurukshetra, and finally settled in Odisha, Kamalda remains committed to social work, and continues to do so without any desire for post, perk or publicity.
Kamal Dutta, though belongs to Bangladesh, still he is dear to all sections of society in Cuttack. Irrespective of caste, creed, religion, social and political affiliation, needy persons avail his service easily. He is an angel for them. Every day morning he takes his bi-cycle and visit slum areas to see if any one requires any medical help and assistance. He also make regular rounds to SCB Medical College Hospital, City Hospital, and other private hospitals and nourishing homes to extend his helping hand. From arranging blood, medicine to facilitating doctor’s consultation, popularly known as “Kamalda”, he is also the organising secretary of “Rugna Seva Prakalpa” under Seva Bibhag of RSS.
In 1980, Kamal Dutta came to Cuttack from Delhi. He originally belongs to Bangladesh. When he was a child, he lost his entire family-they were brutally killed by rioters in a communal riot. This gory incident happened in front of his eyes. But somehow his life was spared. It was the time when the people of East-Pakistan were waging war of independence against Pakistan. Pakistani forces along with Bangla Jamat-e-Islami goons were attacking local people. Hindus became easy prey and the entire family of Kamal Dutta met the same fate. The Indian army rescued Kamal Dutta before his life would meet a tragic end in the hands of brutal attackers. The officers of Indian Army, after knowing about the misfortune of this little boy Kamal, brought him to India. Kamal Dutta thereafter remained with Bharat Sevashram Sangha. In the mean time he also developed proximity with RSS cadres and became a Swayamsevak. One day he decided that he would dedicate his entire life, time and energy for the service of the motherland—Kamal Dutta became a Pracharak of RSS and worked at various places across India.
He was sent to Odisha in 1980 where he worked in tribal areas of Gunupur and Phulbani towns in the state. Finally, Kamal Dutta came back to Cuttack in 1983. He started Rugna Seva Prakalpa with the mission of rendering service to patients and their attendants who comes to Cuttack for treatment from faraway places. He formed a committee with Dr. Ajit Prasad Bose, Dr Radheshyam Bhawsinka, Dr Deepak Jethy, and Dr Gour Prasad Satapathy. Many other doctors were also roped in. Medicines were collected and sent to tribal area for free distribution. Kamal Dutta himself took special interest in the disposal of dead bodies which remained unclaimed in hospitals and helped poor men cremate their dead relatives.
Another facet of Kamalda’s personality is socialising. He has personal relationships with everyone including Muslims and Christians. He is friends with social workers, politicians, doctors, lawyers, journalists, businessmen, government officials, police personnel. As a part of his daily routine, Kamalda also goes round Cuttack city to meet his old and new acquaintances, and help those who are in need.
Kamal Dutta loves Odisha very much. He says this place is his “Karma Bhoomi”. He continues to serve selflessly and stays away from publicity. This is why his name and activities have till now never found any mention in media. His utter dislike for felicitations has kept him away from awards and prizes, and he has never hankered for any post, perk or publicity. He has always preferred to be a silent worker committed to his work and this is the reason why he continues to dwell in the hearts of people whom he serve without any greed.
-Debasis Tripathy (The writer is a senior journalist)