History Of Karimganj
Ramakrishna Math & Mission
The Ramakrishna Mission Seva Samiti, Karimganj had its modest beginning through the hands of some local devotees in the year 1917 under aspiration of Srimat Swami Premeshanandaji Maharaj (then Shri Indradayal Bhattacharjee) of Sylhet. In 1929, the Seva Samiti of Karimganj was recognised by the Belur Math as a Sub-Centre of the Sylhet Ramakrishna ashram
After partition of India, Karimganj was separated from Sylhet district and the Belur Math authority finally affiliated this centre as an independent Branch centre from 18 October 1947. With the affiliation of the centre, Swami Gopeshwaranandaji Maharaj was appointed as its first Secretary. After his renure, the responsibility was carried out successively by Swami Shivaramanandaji Maharaj (Achintya Maharaj), Swami Sattwanandji Maharaj, Swami Udgithanandaji Maharaj and then Swami Nareshanandaji Maharaj.
Presently, Swami Prabhasanandaji Maharaj is the Secretary of this centre.
The Major Activities
The major activities of this centre, since its inception, are highlighted as under:
In Refugee Relief this centre had a glorious role in carrying out and performing significantly in (1) Burma Evacuee Relief during World war II (2) East Pakistan Exodus Relief in 1950 and (3) Bangladesh Evacuee Relief in 1971.
The Govt. of India was very much impressed noticing the welfare relief activities of this ashram and considered this centre fit to handle the serious issue of settlements of lakhs of Hindu Refugee from East Pakistan.
Accordingly, this centre was entrusted with this Himalayan task. This Centre very successfully arranged shelter, food and permanent settlement of lakhs of refugees at Shonbeel area of present Karimganj district under supervision of the then Secretary, Swami Shivaramanandaji Maharaj. All those East-Pakistan refugees, settled by this ashram that time, are now well settled citizen of this country.
After completion of Relief project, this centre moved towards education sector and started a Boys Hostel within its campus with the students from Class VI to X from distant villages of the district with an aim to provide quality educational facilities and inspire them with the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideology. The Hostel still continues to function spreading light of education to the society as well as Ramakrishna-Vivekananda philosophy.
To support the Hostel Project and also to provide wide scope of education to the general public and students of the Hostel, this centre established a Public Library of books covering all fields of knowledge including religion and spirituality. This Library is one of the richest Libraries in the district having 3700 books in addition to good number of periodicals and newspapers for Serving to its readers.
Construction of new temple
The old shrine while found too small to accommodate growing number of devotes, construction of new temple was undertaken in the year 1990 and was completed in 1992, placing therein a life-size marble Statue of Lord Sri Ramakrishna which was dedicated with customary rituals by His Holiness Srimat Swami Bhuteshanandaji Maharaj, the then president of Ramakrishna Order. The new temple with wide space provides he devotees and public to have their spiritual practices in a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere.
Income Generation project
During the years 1985 to 95, this centre undertook Income Generation project for the economic upliftment of the weaker section of the society. Under the project, financial assistance to the Cultivators, small Traders, Cobbles, and Rickshow-pullers and Tailoring Training to the poor girls were there. In that project, all section of society were covered who were highly benefited getting such support.
Mobile Medical Dispensary
Mobile Medical Dispensary is also another prime project of this centre.
This centre introduced a Mobile Dispensary in 1998 to provide medical facilities to the remote and inaccessible areas of the district. The Mobile Dispensary carries Doctors, Para-medical staff and volunteers who offer free medical checkups and free medicines to all those who attend the medical camps, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Free Eye Screening camp, cataract operation with 1OL setting is also carried out time to time. Blood Donation Camps, organized in association with Blood Bank of Karimganj.
Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa
Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa, a high ambitious project of Belur Math for physical, mental and intellectual development of the students of age group 05 to 12 belonging to weaker sections of the society . Under this project, two units at Mahisashan, a remote village of Indo-Bangladesh Border, was started which are still going on. A total of 100 children (Boys & Girls) are provided with free coaching along with educational materials. After daily coaching, nutritious food supplements are provided. Another similar project with 100 students (both Boys and Girls) from slum areas of Karimganj town is running at ashram premises since January 2016. By implementation of GAP project, all round benefits are being achieved by the students as regards general education and Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideolog
Construction of Vivekananda Bhawan
Recently, considering the needs of the local people, this centre undertook construction of a three storied building on a plot of land close to the ashram The building is dedicated in the memory of Swami Vivekananda and named
‘VIVEKANANDA BHAWAN” which was inaugurated by Swami Suhitanandaji Maharaj, General Secretary of Ramakrishna Order on 20th Feb 2014 in commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. In the said building, a Charitable Dispensary for providing free health check-up and free medicine; a Coaching Centre for providing free coaching for poor students of Class I to IV; a Computer Training Centre and a Centre for Spoken English and Personality Development have been started. All these projects are running successfully.
Almost every year, this Centre organizes Relief Services like distribution of Blankets, Winter Garments, Dhuties, Sarees etc. amongst the reedy people of remote villages. During devastating flood, Monks of Ramakrishna Mission with team of volunteers rushed to the flood effected areas, conduct door to door survey and provide materials (food, Stuff and medicine) based on their basic needs. In recent flood, happened during April-May 2016, this centre provided free food-stuff and medicines amongst 813 flood victim families with 2999 beneficiaries.
This centre holds Youth Conference once in every year with the students from local schools and colleges. Around 250-300 students participates in such conference. Senior monks from Belur Math and other centres of Ramakrishna Mission attend and address the participating students.
Conduct of Spiritual Events, such as daily Puja of Sri Sri Thakur, Sri Sri Maa and Swamiji are held daily since establishment of this ashram. Apart from those, the Birth Anniversaries of Sri Sri Thakur, Sri Sri Maa and Swamiji are celebrated every year with much enthusiasm. On these holy occasions, Devotee-Convention and other functions are held in ashram premises with discourses on spiritual issues and Cultural Functions every year. The Birth Anniversary of direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna deva and other religious leaders are also celebrated in befitting manner.
In addition to these, Annual Puja of Maa Durga, Kali, Saraswati,Vishwakarma ,Janmasthami and Shivaratri are also organized with due solemnity. On every Ekadashi Tithi, Ram-Nam Sankirtan is also held.
Daily Discourses on religious scriptures is held after Sandhya-Aratrikram in presence of a significant number of devotees. Monks from this centre also visit different places as invited Guest to have discourses on spiritual issues including Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Philosophy.