Founder Chairman, Overman Foundation
Born on 13th October 1984 to Jayanta Banerji and Sanghamitra Banerjee, eminent film actress of Bengali Cinema, Anurag received his early education from The Future Foundation School, Kolkata. His association with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram started from 1999 when, as a young boy of fifteen, he visited Pondicherry. A B.Com graduate from Calcutta University with Honours in Accountancy and Finance, he obtained a diploma in Business Administration which was followed by another diploma in Business Management and an M.B.A. degree from ICFAI University, Dehradun, with specialization in Human Resource Management.
At the age of twenty, Anurag penned a biography of Dilip Kumar Roy titled Achinpather Dibyapathik (thus he became the youngest Indian to pen a biography) and at the age of twenty-one he translated one hundred poems of Sri Aurobindo into Bengali titled Debotar Shrom; both the books were published in 2008. His first book in English, Nirodbaran: The Surrealist’s Journey, was published in December 2006 when he was twenty-two years old. In the past few years, he has established himself as a poet, essayist, researcher, biographer and translator. He was an Associate Professor at NexGen Institute of Business and Technology, Kolkata. He was also a faculty at Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR), Pondicherry, where he conducted the course on Integral Management developed by him. He has lectured in several national symposiums and seminars organized by Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research, Sri Aurobindo Bhavan (Kolkata), National Council of Education and Jadavpur University. He is a Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Sakti Centre Trust which runs the “Sri Aurobindo Bal Mandir” School at New Alipore, Kolkata.
At the age of twenty-five on 29 March 2010, Anurag established Overman Foundation, a non-profit organization which runs India’s only online research centre dedicated to the mission of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the ‘Auro-Ratna Awards’.
Overman Foundation has published the following books penned and edited by Anurag: The Alipore Bomb Trial Judgment (2010), Sri Aurobindo: His Political Life and Activities (2010), Sri Aurobindo on Ethics (2011), Ananya Nishikanto (2011), Sujata Nahar: Loving Homage (2011), Sri Aurobindo and Rabindranath Tagore (2011), The Mother: The Birth and Growth of a Flame (2012), The Alipore Bomb Trial: Selected Documents (2012), Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Vision of Life (2012) and Sri Aurobindo As We Saw Him (2013).
In April 2011 Anurag was felicitated with the ‘Nolini Kanta Gupta Smriti Puraskar’ by ‘Srinvantu’ and Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Kolkata. In August 2015 he was awarded the ‘Apurva Pal Smriti Puraskar’ (Sri Aurobindo Puraskar) by Chandernagore Barasat Gate Cultural Association.
Shri Nirmal Singh Nahar
A journalist and freedom fighter, son of Prithwi Singh Nahar—a noted sadhak, poet, litterateur, disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother—and mother Suhag Kumari; grandson of Puran Chand Nahar—a noted Indologist, scion of the well-known Zamindar family of Nahars of Azimgunj, Murshidabad, West Bengal—Nirmal Singh belonged to the Swetambar Murtipujak Oswal Jain sect.
Born on the 28th of July 1922 at Kolkata, educated at Santiniketan from 1929 to 1935 during Rabindranath Tagore’s golden period, Nirmal Singh did his schooling from South Suburban Branch School where he was initiated to the student movement. He raised the national flag in the school building and as a result he was transferred to South Suburban Main School. At the Main School, along with other students, he raised funds for flood relief work and handed over the same to the Congress President, Subhas Chandra Bose, in 1939.
During this period he was initiated to the freedom movement by Phani Majumdar—a Forward Block leader and Lieutenant of Subhas Chandra Bose who later became a minister under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh.
After the disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose, Nirmal Singh was directed by Phani Majumdar to go underground to avoid arrest. So he gave up his studies and left for their Zamindari Estate at Dinajpur. There he joined his uncle Bikram Singh Nahar and elder brother Dhir Singh Nahar in starting the Nahar Farm and was entrusted to look after their agricultural farm at Nijpara, Birgunj in Dinajpur district (now in Bangladesh), a remote village 18 miles away from the nearest railway station. He cleared the jungle and bush and started farming after reclaiming 60 acres of land.
In 1943 he started agricultural farming at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry under the guidance of the Mother.
He was the official referee of football and volleyball at Pondicherry, the capital of French India.
In 1947, Nirmal Singh joined Reuters Associated Press of India and Press Trust of India as their special correspondent. In 1951, he was declared a persona non grata by the French Indian government and a warrant of arrest was issued for exposing French misrule in India as a journalist, but he was smuggled out of Pondicherry by the then Indian Consul General. On returning to Kolkata he joined a Bengali daily, Jana Sevak, as its chief reporter. After leaving journalism he became a promoter of the Haldia Scooter Project in collaboration with an Italian firm, Armachie Harley-Davidson SPA, in 1964.
Nirmal Singh was an author and contributor of articles in Bengali and English journals on spirituality and economics. His first book Sri Aurobindo and His Birth Place was published in 1990. He also co-edited Sujata Nahar: Loving Homage with Anurag Banerjee.
Nirmal Singh was one of the founder members of Sri Aurobindo Society of West Bengal at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan in Kolkata, nominated by the State Government in 1972. He was also a member of West Bengal State Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Celebration Committee set up by West Bengal State Government in 1971. He was a member of the Governing Council of All India Sri Swetambar Murtipujak Jain Tirth Raksha Trust and Trustee of Murushidabad Sangh Nahar Family Trust. His other previous activities were:
- Founder Trustee-cum-Secretary of Jain Swetambar Society, Madhupur, Shikharjee (Paresnath-Jharkhand).
- President of the Insurance Underwriters’ Association of India and of General Insurance Agents Association of India.
- Advisory Committee member of Jain Panchayati Temple Trust, Tullapatty, Kolkata.
- Executive Committee member for several years of Murshidabad Sangha.
- Assistant Secretary of Santiniketan Ashramik Sangh.
- Assistant Secretary of Calcutta Art Society.
- General Secretary “Maha Sangeet Sammelan,” Kolkata.
- President, Indian Chamber of Consumers, Kolkata.
- Executive Committee member of: French India Journalist Association, Calcutta Press Club, South Calcutta District Congress Committee.
- Joint Convenor South Calcutta District Congress Conference.
- Formed a co-operative society along with other Journalist Associates and published an evening Bengali daily, Sandhya, of which he was the Chairman.
- Sectional President, Junior Chamber International during All-India Convention at Kolkata.
- President, Zoological Garden Sramik Union, Kolkata.
- Partner, Nistarani Match Factory.
- Director of Utility Products Ltd.
Nirmal Singh Nahar passed away on 3 September 2012 at the age of ninety.
Prof. Kittu Reddy
Prof. Kittu Reddy was born in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on 1st July 1936. At the young age of five in 1941 he was taken to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, by his father Narayan Reddy,an eminent member of the Swaraj party formed by C.R. Das. He has lived there ever since.
He had all his education at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education from where he graduated. He has been teaching at the same Centre since 1958. His subjects today are:
- The Foundations of Indian Culture,
- The Human Cycle,
- The Ideal of Human Unity, (all books of Sri Aurobindo),
- Political Science,
- Social Science and
Since 1987, he has been giving talks to the Indian Army on Indian culture, the Mission of India and Motivation and Leadership.
In 1994, General BC Joshi, the then Chief of Army Staff, appointed him Adviser to the Army Welfare Education Society. Since then he has been in close touch with the Indian Army and has conducted workshops for the Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. These workshops deal with Motivation, Leadership and the Indian nation. They have been held both in Pondicherry at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and at training centres of the Armed Forces.
He is the author of the following books: A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions, Kargil: A Manifestation of a Deeper Problem and The History of India: A New Approach.
Smt. Krishna Chakravarti
Born on 7th December 1943 to Justice Santosh K. Chakravarti and Bokul Rani, Krishna Chakravarti came to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, in 1956 and was admitted in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. She completed her education in 1966 and joined the Central Office of the Ashram, the work being chosen by the Mother. An inmate of the Ashram for the past fifty-four years, she is the author of Sri Aurobindo Loho Pronam and Judge Saheb O Maharanir One-Third Dozen er Kahini (in Bengali) and A Garland of Adoration (in English).