Pyari Mohan Acharya was born in 1851 in Orissa. He is the person who established the now famous PM Academy in Cuttack. Here is a very interesting story about the beginning of the academy.

In 1871, when Pyari Mohan was only 20 years old, he along with Madhusudan Rao and Gobinda Rath started a newspaper called UTKAL PUTRA in Oriya with an objective of bringing to everybody's attention general condition of the society and civic complaints. Pyari Mohan was the editor and publisher of this newspaper. Pyari Mohan published an article named Darakhast Jutiyan. When translated into English it means an appeal from shoes or may be a notice from shoes. The article accused the waste management authority of Cuttack of gross neglect in their duty to keep Cuttack clean. This article infuriated the then magistrate sahib, who ordered the headmaster Chandicharan Bandopadhyaya to expel PyariMohan from the school. Pyari Mohan refused to beg forgiveness from the magistrate and had to leave school and took up employment with the commissioner. He felt the need for a private school in Cuttack so that students will not face his fate and would be able to freely express their opinion. He did not however stop there, he went ahead and established a private school in Cuttack. He was then earning only 25 Rupees a month and used to donate whatever left of it after spending a minimum amount for his living expenses. Both Madhusudan and he actively campaigned for donations to the school from rich people.

He continued to supervise the operation of the school even when he was the manager to the king of Damapada. This school was named after him and is now known as the Pyari Mohan Academy or simply the PM Academy of Cuttack.

Pyarimohan was a very kind and helpful person. He took upon himself to find time to help the diseased and helpless. During a cholera epidemic in Puri when many hundreds of people died in the bada danda ( Jaganaath Sadaka ) without any treatment, Pyarimohan came to Puri and took care of as many people as possible. He had tremendous love for literature and used to write profusely. Incidentally he wrote a book entitled Odissar Itihaas (History Of Orissa). Although this book was written after proper research and was chosen to be a text book, subsequent opposition to this book resulted in removing this book from the list of text books.

Pyarimohan was also a social thinker and worker. He was strongly against child marriage and actively supported a Brahma Samaj law that would require that boys must be more than 18 years old and girls must be more than 14 years old before marriage.

Pyarimohan died young. He went on a hunting trip with the king of Damapada and during that outing swam and took bath in a cold forest stream against the will of the rest of the hunting party. Upon return he suffered from high fever and died a few days after. He was only 30 years old.

This article is based on the book Madhusudan Granthabali.

Source :ORNET, January 18, 1998. Author: Devanarayan
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