Rai Bahadur Ranada Prasad Shaha was a real son of this soil, a person extraordinaire, whose life’s work and achievements are beyond comparison. Not only did he sacrifice his life for his beloved country but his legacy- Kumudini Welfare Trust of Bengal (KWT) – stands because the highest sort of philanthropy. The Trust was founded in June 1947 with the mission of providing exclusive service to the suffering humanity.
A great visionary, he was indeed concerned about the well-being of the poor and particularly the underprivileged women. He bequeathed all his wealth for the welfare of the less fortunate. What prompted him to undertake this initiative was his childhood experience of his mother’s death and his love for humanity. R P Shaha was born in 1896 to Debendra Kumar and Srimati Kumudini. He was only seven years old when his mother died a painful death from a tetanus infection.
Returning to Calcutta he took up trading in coal, starting with door-to-door coal supply and gradually progressed to larger supply orders. Thus a wealthy Ranada Prasad Shaha was born through sheer diligence and perseverance. In 1933 he became a shareholder during a joint river transportation business named “Bengal River Service”. Later on, he bought the firm. This was the core business of all his commercial ventures. By 1945, R P Shaha had already acquired the whole jute business of the Scottish firm George Henderson & Company at Narayanganj which was previously owned by an English firm named David & Company.
This great philanthropist was abducted along side his son Bhabani Prasad Shaha by the Pakistan Army and their collaborators on May 7, 1971, during the Liberation War. They never returned. His spirit lives among his successors who are on the Board of Directors of the Trust. R P Shaha was the primary director succeeded by his daughter Joya Pati. His grandson Rajiv Prasad Shaha is that the present director of the Trust then the tradition goes on