"Legacy of a Visionary: Bodofa Upendranath Brahma"
Bodofa Upendranath Brahma

"Legacy of a Visionary: Bodofa Upendranath Brahma"

Context: For 2023, the UNBT has awarded the 20th Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award 2023 to Shri Sonam Wangchuk on 23 Dec 2023 at Bodofa Cultural Complex, Kokrajhar, BTR, Assam.

The Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma Trust was founded in July 1999 in remembrance of Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma, who was the former president of the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU).

 Award Establishment:

➢ Since 2004, the UNB Trust Kokrajhar has annually presented the Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award. 

➢ This recognition is given by the Bodos in honour of Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma, acknowledging his role as the Father of Bodo.

About Upendranath Brahma:

Upendranath Brahma (March 31, 1956 – May 1, 1990) was an Indian Bodo social activist who served as the former president of the All Bodo Students' Union.

Early Life:

➢ Brahma came into the world in the village of Boragari in Dotma, a small town in the Kokrajhar district of Assam, India.

➢  His parents were Mr. Monglaram Brahma and Ms. Lefsri Brahma, and he was the youngest of their five children.

➢  In his early years, he was affectionately known as "Thopen." His upbringing was marked by economic hardship, growing up in poverty.


➢ Posthumously, Brahma was honoured with the title of Bodofa (Guardian of Bodos) on May 8, 1990, in acknowledgment of his visionary leadership. 

➢ Every year, on the anniversary of his passing, now recognized as Bodofa Day, his life is commemorated. 

○ A bronze statue, standing at a height of 21 feet (6.4 m), was unveiled in Kokrajhar on the tenth anniversary of his demise.


 ➢ Brahma passed away on May 1, 1990, at Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai due to complications from blood cancer. 

➢ His remains were transported to Kokrajhar and laid to rest in Dotoma on May 4. The site of Brahma's burial is currently recognized as "Thulungapuri.”

 Purpose of the Award:

➢ The Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award is granted to individuals who have made remarkable contributions to uplifting humanity, with a particular focus on improving the lives of the underprivileged.

➢ Honouring Humanitarian Contributions: The award aims to honour and recognize individuals who have made significant and commendable contributions to humanitarian causes, particularly those dedicated to the upliftment and well-being of underprivileged communities.

➢ Perpetuating Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma's Legacy: The award serves as a means to perpetuate the legacy of Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma, the former president of the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU).

○  By doing so, it ensures that his commitment to social welfare continues to inspire and guide future generations.

➢ Focusing on Uplifting the Underprivileged: An essential purpose of the award is to highlight and reward efforts that specifically target the improvement of the lives of underprivileged individuals and communities.

○  It emphasises the importance of addressing social inequalities.

 ➢ Encouraging Continued Humanitarian Efforts: By recognizing individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to humanitarian causes, the award aims to inspire and encourage ongoing efforts in this field.

○ It acts as a catalyst for individuals to continue making positive impacts on society through their selfless contributions.

Recent Recipient:

➢ In the year 2023, Mr. Sonam Wangchuk was honoured with the Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award. 

➢ Notably, he is a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, further emphasising the prestige associated with this recognition.

Award Ceremony:

➢ The 20th edition of the Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award ceremony occurred on December 23, 2023, marking another significant occasion in celebrating individuals dedicated to humanitarian causes.

➢ The award is regarded as the highest award presentation among the Bodo community. The award carries a memento, citation and cash of Rs. One lakh

Advait IAS