STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 7 November
Prof Abani Baral~ eminent educationalist and teacher-leader, litterateur, artist, trade unionist and prominent Left leader, all rolled into one ~ passed away today.
He breathed his last at his Bhubaneswar residence this morning. He was 79.
People from all walks of life, including politicians, trade union leaders and leaders as well as common citizens, thronged his residence to pay their last tribute to Prof Baral, who had created a space for himself with his unequalled commitment and dedication.
Influenced by the Left movement right from student days, he had joined the AISF and the Democratic Youth Federation. A strong believer in Marxism-Leninism and advocate of strong communist unity, Prof Baral was the state secretary of CPI Odisha and member of the national council of CPI for a long period.
Starting his teaching career as a lecturer in Prananath College at Khurda, he went on to become its principal. Known for his organizational skills, he played a key role in forming the college teacher?s organization and also the Federation of all teachers of elementary, secondary and college into one strong unity known as Sikshak Mahasangh and led many a struggle. His achievements in teacher union activities include government recognition to private schools and colleges, their grant in aid and other working conditions etc. He also represented the Indian teachers as the vice president of World Teacher?s Federation. A known face in Odia literary arena, he had authored several books while his write-ups were published in many national and international publications.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described Prof Baral as an excellent organiser and a forefront leader of communist movement.