GUWAHATI, Oct 12 – The North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) has paid tributes to India’s first commercial tea planter and martyr, Maniram Dewan, by instituting an award in his name – Maniram Dewan Udgoy Ratna Award – in a first-of-its-kind endeavour in the State.
The award will be given annually to an entrepreneur who plays an excellent role and inspires other entrepreneurs in development of the MSME sector.
NESSIA State president, Sailen Baruah, in statement, urged the Chief Minister as well as the Union Minister of Industries and Commerce to recognize Dewan as the Father of Assam Tea and declare April 27, Dewan’s birth anniversary, as ‘Entrepreneurship Day.’
According to historical record, Dewan, whose real name was Maniram Dutta, had established the Cinamara Tea Garden in 1845 after resigning from the post of Dewan with the British, and set up the first tea company in Assam.
Dewan, who later became a revolutionary, was arrested in Calcutta and later hanged along with Piyali Baruah on February 26, 1858 on the banks of Tocklai stream in Jorhat. He was just 51 then.
Noted tea planter Prabhat Kumar Bezboruah, a former chairman of the Assam Tea Planters’ Association and present vice-chairman of the Tea Research Association, was honoured as the first recipient of the Maniram Dewan Udgoy Ratna Award for his contribution to the tea industry, especially his efforts in reviving several sick gardens in Assam.
The award was presented in the general conference of NESSIA held at Jorhat recently.