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Obituary | Biswanath Prasad Upadhyaya: The philanthropic lawyer

Kumudini Pant

Kumudini Pant

Obituary | Biswanath Prasad Upadhyaya: The philanthropic lawyer

Known as one of the friendliest and most diligent lawyers in Janakpur, Upadhyaya was also an avid traveler

Birth: February 1947, Dhanusha
Death: 23 August 2021, Lalitpur 

Even at the age of 74, Biswanath Prasad Upadhyaya didn’t seem to need rest. His colleagues say he’d always been that way. Born in Hariharpur, Dhanusha, Upadhyaya was thus one of the most hardworking and philanthropic lawyers.

Upadhyaya completed his schooling at Chandrodaya Madhyamik Bidhyalaya. A fairly good student, he tried his hands at journalism before stepping into the field of law.

In his journalism career, Upadhyaya worked until 1971 for a newspaper called ‘Nirmal’ and had become an integral part of its editorial team when he was only 24. But the paper soon shut down due to legal issues and Upadhyaya was forced to discover his other passion besides writing.

When the newspaper’s publication stopped, Upadhyaya went to Janakpur and studied to become a lawyer. Back then there was a popular law firm (Laxmi Bahadur Niraula’s Firm) in the city, where Upadhyaya would also learn the ropes in the field of law. He worked there until the late 1970s before opening his own law firm.

Upadhyaya was an active member of the CPN-UML and he even worked as a lawyer for his various party comrades.

Upadhyaya wasn’t a big foodie—he relished typical Nepali meals. He was also strict about not drinking or smoking. He nonetheless suffered from persistent hypertension. Known as one of the friendliest and most diligent lawyers in Janakpur, he was also an avid traveler.

He considered his work to be his greatest legacy, which is why he regularly participated in social work and charity events. One of the lawyer’s greatest contributions was a dharmashala that he established in Narayani, Chitwan.

He and his wife had sold off their property in Janakpur and had been residing in New Baneshwor for the past three years. He recently had to go to Siraha to handle property matters and had been staying there when he fell in the bathroom and hit his head.

He suffered brain damage and was admitted to Mediciti Hospital for treatment. But his condition only worsened and he died on 23 August, at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife.