AC Datta

AC Datta the great son of India

This is a featured pageEr. Atul Chandra Datta was a Chemical Engineer from Jadavpur University from Calcutta. He was MD of Metal Corporation of India [MCI] and Bikaner Gypsum Ltd [BGL] which evolved into the present day, Hindustan Zinc Ltd [a Govt. of India enterprise and now in joint venture] and Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd [a Govt. of Rajasthan Undertaking] respectively after they were taken over by the Governments. MCI started at Zawar mines with a capacity to treat 100 metric tons of lead / zinc ore. Today M/s Hindustan Zinc Ltd is a huge organization having operations at Dariba, Debari, Chanderia and Rampura Agucha. Bikaner Gypsum Ltd was established prior to the Independence of India under the name “Natural Science Society”. Gypsum mining by BGL at Jhamsar [near Bikaner] is said to be the largest open cast mining operation in Asia at one point of time. PROM Society instituted an award in the Honour of Er. AC Datta named as “Er. AC Datta Farmer’s Award” to confer on, progressive farmers who practice natural farming methods or to a NGO that educates the farmers on natural farming methods annually during the conferences organized by PROM Society.

We were in Calcutta for a meeting in MECON office in connection with the expansion project of phosphate beneficiation plant of RSMML during the year 2000. After that strenuous meeting, Sri MK Mukherjee the then GGM [finance] of RSMML, told that he will be visiting Er. AC Datta.

Though I heard about that great man I never had an occasion to visit him. I requested Mukherjee Saab to take me along with him. On entering the flat of Datta Saab I touched his feet seeking his blessing. At that point of time Datta Saab lost much of his memory and eye sight. He thought that we came from Zawar mines and started asking about the man power and production levels of Zinc concentrate. He is a gigantic personality and has commanding voice. During the conversation he calmly told that he knew the people who cheated him but will not reveal their names. There was no bitterness in his tone. His wife was calm and did not take part in the discussion. I requested Datta Saab to sign on a pocket book which he obliged. We had tea and left the house. Some how my heart was heavy. I served both the companies [HZL and BGL] he created.

Back at Bikaner people say that Datta Saab was a kind hearted man and loved his employees. He was generous and used to reward his employees adequately.

That day is a day which I can never forget for I met a great son of India. I wonder what it takes to build a business empire and lose it for nothing without bitterness.

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