Mr. Raha Naba Kumar

  • 2023
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India

Born: April 14, 1963

Initially, Raha Naba Kumar faced numerous struggles when he joined Gandhi Ashram in Noakhali, Bangladesh in 1989. There were financial constraints, negative treatment from people around, dealing with continuous life threats from the illegal occupiers of the GAT properties, and encountering various speculations. Despite all this, Raha Naba Kumar accepted the challenge of revitalizing the Ashram as a trustworthy organisation in society. Through constant efforts for more than three decades, he has been able to change the situation.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's teachings, Raha Naba Kumar has chosen a path of nonviolence, truth, and self-discipline. In a world often marked by turmoil and discord, he strives to emulate Mahatma Gandhi’s values of compassion, empathy, and social justice in all his deeds. He draws inspiration from qualities of selflessness, adherence to peace and the freedom movement.

Forming small groups of poor people, training them in different skills, creating awareness of human and women rights, providing support for education, ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, agricultural activities, helped create accessibility in the community. Through enduring hardships and threats to his life from the illegal land grabbers, with his continuous efforts, his team was able to provide 3000 acres of Khash land (the abundant land owned by the Government) to 1000 landless people. Raha Naba Kumar’s contribution has attracted more than 2000 volunteers and resulted in 50 districts commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s anniversaries every year, in Bangladesh. He initiated nationwide peace campaign programmes to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology in Bangladesh, covering more than 1000 schools, colleges, and universities.

The Gandhi Memorial Museum initiated by Raha Naba Kumar is claimed to be the first and only recognized Gandhi Museum in Bangladesh.

It is laudable that he continues to work in Noakhali to revive Gandhiji's thoughts and to apply the constructive work programme with people’s participation for their benefit.