Founded in 1964, ‘Navadarsha’ could as well be termed as utopia, utopia as we are yet far off from the mark Late Kshitish Chandra Chowdhury, the prime mover who had shaped this Society from the conceptual stage to and through its formative years had set for himself while pursuing with visionary zeal the establishment of this unique habitat. An illustrious retired Govt servant at that time, he had been earlier a Dy CAG, Govt of India and had just relinquished his charges as Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University; had his roots in Sylhet, a picturesque valley in erstwhile East Bengal, now Bangladesh, known for its people with academic excellence. He ordained the hat of a visionary human habitat planner, a skill miles away from his much acclaimed service career, and set out to make a colony for people, mainly people who had left their roots behind at Sylhet He gathered around him a few like minded people who actively supported him either with money or labour, bought various swathes of land to knit an area of 60.72 acres and christened it ‘Srimantapur’-signifying the vision of a self-sufficient, environmentally sound, pleasant, well organised human habitat. The registered name of the entity he likewise named ‘The Navadarsha Cooperative Housing Society Ltd,’ ‘naba-adarsha’ meaning new-ideals that he and his friends were pursuing. ‘Naba-adarsha’ was conjoined to form Navadarsha. Somehow the name ‘Srimantapur’ never really caught on though it officially remains. He and his friends then opened the doors for all who were prepared to share their dream, Sylhet or no Sylhet.
The germination of the idea of such a Society originally came about from within the ‘Srihatta Sammilani’ during 1963-1964. The very first Committee of promoters or organisers had 18 members headed by Kshitish Chandra Choudhury, others being Birajakanta Bhattacharjee, Brajaballabh Roy, Durgesh Chandra Choudhury, Jaggesh Chandra Choudhury, Jaleswar Das, Kripesh Chandra Bhattacharjee, Manmatha Nath Deb, Mohitosh Choudhury, Moni Nag, Phanindra Nath Dutta, Prafulla Chandra Nandy, Rebatikanta Dutta Choudhury, Ramendra Nath Das, Siddheswar Gupta, Sisir Ranjan Choudhury, Sudhir Ranjan Chakraborty and Utpal Sen. The application for registration of Society was submitted on June 18, 1964, while hectic parleys were still on for acquiring suitable land. The Society was finally registered on July 4, 1964. Once the preliminary land was acquired, formal Foundation Day was celebrated on January 23, 1965, on the land that the marble plaque on the ‘Amtala’ landmark commemorates. The first residential dwelling was constructed by Late Benulal Bhattacharjee in 1968 on a plot in N Block.
While the initial Annual General Meetings were held at various locations away like Mahabodhi Society Hall in Calcutta, the very first AGM at Society’s own premises was held on May 30, 1976
The rest they say is history. Today Navadarsha is home for 300 families waiting to be joined by 182 more, who are away from home earning their livelihood.