Mr Prasanna Kumar Acharya – “The Quasi-Jesuit”
Mr Prasanna Kumar Acharya, better known as Mr P.K. Acharya, was a fine human being with abundant blessings and qualities. An efficient teacher, writer, translator and administrator, Mr P.K. Acharya was one of the strong pillars of St Xavier’s School Sahibganj. Mr P.K. firmly believed his call to serve St Xavier’s School to be a divine call to which he spontaneously responded though he was already a lecturer of Sahibganj College. The invitation to join the school came from Fr Emmanuel Stellini, the then Principal of the School. As a dedicated member of the Xaverian Family, he served the school in various capacities. Though he was mainly an assistant teacher of Hindi, he also taught English and other subjects initially. As he was a strict disciplinarian, he was appointed Vice-Principal of the school, first of the Primary Section and then of the Junior Section. It is to be noted that Mr P.K. Acharya was the first ever lay Vice-Principal of the school. Coming under the influence of the Jesuits, he developed an interest in the IPP (Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm). So he was trained to be an IPP resource person. Mr P.K. visited many schools of Dumka-Raiganj Province to conduct workshops for the teachers. Even after his retirement, he continued his teaching in the school as an emeritus teacher for several years. But he had to put a full stop to his teaching career as he started losing his eyesight. The school, in fact, had taken an initiative to help him restore his eyesight through a reputed doctor in Kolkata but the attempt was not successful. Losing of his eyesight permanently put an end to his writing hobby too. So he had to isolate himself in his room during his last days. However, he loved people, especially the Jesuits or any member of the Xaverian fraternity, visiting him at his residence so that he remained updated about the school. He loved to share his memories of the school and of the Jesuits of yesteryears with those who visited him. As he was fond of the Jesuits and of the Ignatian principles, he was nicknamed “Quasi-Jesuit”. St Xavier’s School was his second home and his love. He dedicated his entire life for the school and stood with the school in its good and hard times. For many years he served the school with steadfast love and sterling commitment. His contributions have left indelible marks in the annals of the school. St Xavier’s School, Sahibganj, will always remember his dedicated and committed service at all times. Mr P.K. Acharya who served the school for about 50 years breathed his last on Sunday, 6 March 2022, at around 3:30 pm. Mr PK was 85 and is survived by his wife Mrs Anita Acharya. May God grant him eternal peace in heaven and consolation to the bereaved family.