Satishchandra was born at the village Kurigram in Rangpur (now in Bangladesh) on
June 14, 1880. His father was Purna Chandra Das Gupta and mother was Vijaylaksbmi Devi. Both the parents exercised a moulding influence on their son’s young mind. After completing his early education in the village-school Satishchandra came over to Calcutta for higher studies. He studied first in Ripon College and then in Presidency College. While working in the Chemical laboratories for his post-graduate course he attracted the attention of Acharya P. C. Roy. At that time Acharya Roy had established the Bengal Chemical and Phar- maceutical works and Satishchandra became his first choice for working and researching in his newly opened laboratory. That was the greatest boon to the young researcher. Working in collaboration with another brilliant chemist Raj Sekhar Bose, Satishchandra elevated Bengal Chemical Works to an unprecendented height. His inventions were large in number and highly fruitful. “Fire King’, the fire extinguisher, which he made with the co-operation of Bengal Chemical’s technicians and workers, is still to-day regarded as the cheapest and most dependable indigenous extinguisher.
A great change came over his mind when he met Gandhiji at Kokonad Conference. How could he help the poor down-trodden millions of India, if he always confined himself within a laboratory ? That was the question that began to haunt him. At Gandhiji's advice Satish- chandra came back to Calcutta and devoted himself to constructive works. He inspired his co-workers in Bengal Chemical to spin. For weaving the hand-spun thread a loom was set-up within the compound of Bengal Chemical Works. Acharya Roy had all along helped his disciple in every way. But Satishchandra wanted to cut himself off from the old institution and build up his own organisation on purely Gandhian line.
‘Khadi Pratisthan’ thus came into existence. It became the biggest centre of all kinds of cottage industries. At one time many homes of rural Bengal used to hum with the spinning wheel (Charkha) which Khadi Pratisthan produced and sold at a cheaper price.
The books and pamphlets which Satishchandra wrote show the wide sweep of his mind. We mention below a few: The Cow in India, Home & Village Doctor: Fountainpen Ink ; Bone Meat Fertilizer ; Gobar Gas Plant ; Hand Made Paper ; Book Keeping for Kzadi institutions. He also translated into Bengali Gandhiji’s autobiography from Gujarati and Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas from Hindi. His study on Rabindranath and Gandhi in Bengali is a valuable contribution to comparative criticism.
Satish Babu, as he was affectionately called by Gandhian workers all over India, was blessed with a long life. All over his life he remained an untiring researcher for developing rural industries.
During the last decade of his life he made researches in agriculture, being provoked by country’s constant shortage of food-grains. The perennial fallow lands lying in Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum and Midnapur appeared as a challange to him. He resolved to turn the perennial fallow lands into green fields of crops. He discovered eternal flow of water deep under the barren surface and also made arrangements for lifting that water. He also invented devices for increasing the water retaining capacity of the ‘muram’ soil. The farm at Gogra ( Bankura ) stands as a monument to his ceaseless research and activities in agriculture.
In addition to the deep love and respect from many of his countrymen he was called ‘Banglar Gandhi’ by common people He also received the prestigeous ‘Bajaj Avard’ from the ‘Bajaj Foundation’ and Honorary Degree of D. Sc. from Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University, Kalyani.
He died on December 24, 1979 at Gogra in Bankura District of West Bengal. His life was all along a source of inspiration among the Gandhian constructive workers of all over India, He will remain so for generations to come,