Pandit Gopabandhu Das (1877–1928), known as Utkalamani (Gem of Odisha), was a social worker, reformer, political activist, journalist, poet and essayist.
Born on 9 October 1877 to Swarnamayee Devi and Shree Daitari Das in Suando Village, near Puri, Odisha, Gopabandhu was a legend in the Odisha culture. He served his people even at the cost of his family. At the age of twelve, he married Apti, but continued his education.
After completion of primary education, he joined Puri Zilla School in 1893, where he met his teacher Mukhtiar Ramchandra Das, who was not only a genius but also a nationalist. It was at this school and with this teacher that Gopabandhu learned many nationalistic values.
The inadequate response of authorities for the victims of cholera prompted him to start a voluntary corps Puri Seva Samiti. This movement later led to establishment of a separate hospital for cholera patients at Puri, and made Gopabandhu’s name in society.