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Obituary: Brij Mohan Khaitan

Obituary: Brij Mohan Khaitan

(14th August 1927 – 1st June 2019)

The Evergreen Tea Man of India

The Chairman Emeritus of Williamson Magor Group

The humble leader of a sprawling business empire ranging from tea to education and social welfare

The Winner of Balipara Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

And for us…The Mentor of our home – Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark in residence at Wild Mahseer

 

We are devasted with the passing of Shri. B.M. Khaitan. Our sincere condolences to the family on this irreplaceable loss of a business leader, guide and mentor for the Tea industry in India, and especially Assam.

The history of Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark in residence at Wild Mahseer starts from 1874 which was managed by the British Assam Tea Company. Subsequently, Balipara Tea Garden merges with Adabarie Tea Estate Company was managed by McLeod’s and Jardine Henderson which later amalgamated with McLeod Russell and Williamson Magor.

In 2005, The 22-acre land, which housed the residence and office of the visiting agent, lay vacant until 2005 at which time Chairman, Shri. B.M. Khaitan kindly agreed to have an inter-dependent association with River Journeys and Bungalows of India.

Shri B.M. Khaitan lead the path for us as our father, mentor and as a guide helped us proceed and restore the Bungalows and develop other natural assets in Balipara County. And today, History has become our Host.

Shri. Khaitan was the recipient of the Balipara Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 for his extensive contribution and involvement in philanthropic activities for the welfare of the communities and wildlife.

From tea to engineering, the B.M Khaitan group or the Williamson Magor group as it came to be called — was a business empire built meticulously through acquisitions, big and small.

His pioneering and pathbreaking wisdom and actions for the development and welfare of Assam through his initiatives in the tea industry, education and social sectors will be a legacy that will live on forever.

A prayer meet in the loving memory of Shri. B.M. Khaitan, was held on 6th June’19 at the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark in residence at Wild Mahseer, Addabarie Tea Estate. 

The gathering saw the presence of Shri. B.M. Khaitan’s well-wishers and mourners who believed in him as their guide towards paving the tea industry’s pathway in Assam.

Among the attendees were Mr. and Ms. Giri Sodhi, Mr. B. Jamwal (Sr. Mgr., Pertabghur),  Mr. C.J. Saikia (Mgr., Rupajuli), Mr. B.K. Kundu (Sr. Mgr., Tezpur & Gogra), Mr. P.P. Singha (Dy. Mgr., Rupajuli), Mr. A. Baruah (Dy. Mgr., Phulbari), Mr. U. Dutta (Dy. Mgr., Dekorai) and Mr. S. Ghosh (Asst. Secretary, ABITA Zone 3),  students and teachers from Assam Valley School and four clerics (a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian and a Sikh).

At the outset, the General Manager of Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark, Mr. Anup Mehra addressed the gathering about life and work of Shri. B.M. Khaitan, his journey as a great statesman, his adventure as the pioneer towards welfare and development of education and social sectors in Assam followed by Mr. Giri Sodhi and three staff members of Wild Mahseer. And the clerics solemnised the proceedings by reading out verses from their holy books. 

For the history he has created for our present and future, the once barren but now a mini jungle parking lot at the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark has been renamed as Khaitan Saab’s Evergreen Garden.  

The evergreen tea man of India that he was, his legacy and the road that he has shaped for us will live on forever. 

 

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