Udai Pratap College
They say, any work that is done selflessly for the welfare of others always bears fruits. Take an example of the Hewett Kshatriya High School in Varanasi, which was founded by the late Rajarshi Udai Pratap Sing Ju Deo in the northeastern part of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Today the same school has become a college of such a magnitude that it has been rated as one of the best colleges in Uttar Pradesh. Yes, the educational institute that has become the pride of Uttar Pradesh is called Udai Pratap College.
Before getting to know more about the college, it is very necessary to know about the royal, yet the noble man whose ideas have been changing many lives for centuries. Rajarshi Udai Praap Sing Ju Deo was born in 1850 in a royal family of Bhinga, a small town in the district of Baharaich, Uttar Pradesh. He was a philosopher, philanthropist, benevolent, and an educationist. While he had all the luxuries of life, his heart was still filled with humanity. A royal blood full of compassion for commoners was very rare to see then, and even today. He wanted to make education easier for his people so that they can lead a better and respectable life. He also felt it necessary to infuse traditional value in the education system as well. His thought carved the path for the foundation of the Hewett Kshatriya High School, where both boys and girls studied together in order to develop an approach that was both scientific as well as rational, yet staying to the root of Indian culture.
Rajarshi worked as an advisor to the Education Commission. He was on the board of the Union Public Service Commission in 1886. He was honoured with a fellowship award from Allahabad and Calcutta Universities. He had a vast knowledge of social and political issues. His speeches on democracy inspired many young minds. He wrote several articles on social, political and academic issues for ‘Nineteenth Century,’ a famous British Newspaper of that time. He penned down several books in English that have educated, and motivated millions. He was so generous that he distributed thousands and lakhs of rupees to countless social organizations. Though born in a royal family, he led his life as a sanyasi (ascetic) and breathed his last in 1913.
In 1921, after eight years of his passing away, the school transformed itself into an Intermediate College and was named as Udai Pratap Intermediate College, Varanasi. Degree courses for Arts and Commerce were added in 1949 and Science in 1950. Agriculture Stream was included in 1963 and B.Ed in October 1972. Post-graduation courses in Arts and Science were started from July 1972. Finally, the college was offered the status of autonomous by the UGC in 1991.
Today, the Udai Pratap Autonomous College stands tall in a sprawling 100 acres of land. Inside the campus, it runs several academic institutions under the administration of Udai Pratap Educational Society. To keep the students and staff disease-free, it has established a hospital inside the campus. It offers certificate courses in 13 different languages of India. Its infrastructure boasts of a state-of-the-art computer laboratory, a computerized library, an agriculture farm, hostel, swimming pool, and a huge sport ground. Yes, it also has an IGNOU study centre for distance education.
Rajarshi may not be around physically, but his soul definitely is there and it keeps guiding the college to tread on the path that was carved long back by the noble soul. It is very heartening to see the garden of education that he cultivated with his heart has grown so big and spreading love, peace, and literacy.