Meet Kali Prasanna Barik, a lifelong archivist of literary treasures

Cuttack: Conservation of antique literary resources and promotion of the rich history and culture of Odisha has been his life-long passion and quest. Kali Prasanna Barik, a resident of the silver city Cuttack might not be known to many, but his contribution to archive treasures of Odia literature and culture is laudable.

For the past six decades, Barik has been dedicatedly working to collect rare, forgotten and antique materials of literature and store them in his self-made museum at Badheisahi. From rare photos of great personalities, manuscripts to important documents pertaining to history and culture of Odisha, Barik’s collection is definitely a sight to behold.

Asked about his collections, Barik said once during 1960s some Bengalis humiliated him saying that Odisha did not have its own literary history and since then, he had one mission, to promote Odisha’s rich history, culture, language and tradition.

Barik’s efforts have also won him many accolades and recognition. Since there is no one to take care of his collections, Barik has urged the government that he will selflessly donate them for safekeeping and display at other museums.

My motto has and always been to promote Odisha’s rich culture, tradition and language globally. I have dedicated my entire life to conserve these rare materials, but if the government assures to promote them, I will donate my collection, said Barik.

Locals and intellectuals have also come out in support of Barik.

“We have learnt a lot of things that one would never find anywhere else other than Kali babu’s collection. So I think if the government takes an initiative and moves it to some museum it will be more beneficial and the future generations would be able to know a lot about our history, language and culture,” said Cuttack district Utkal Sammilani president Rabi Ranjan Sahu.