Mr. B D Sharma
Mr. Banshi Dhar Sharma is a retired Indian Police Service Officer from West Bengal cadre. After completing his M.Sc. in Botany, he taught at government colleges in Rajasthan before joining the Indian Police Service in 1980. While serving as Additional Director General of Border Security Force (BSF) during 2012 and 2014, Mr. Sharma established a partnership with Smile Train under the project ‘Darpan.’ His brainchild, the project brought together BSF, Rotary International Club of Kolkata, and Bhagwan Mahaveer Cleft Foundation for cleft surgeries through Smile Train India for underprivileged children from the border areas of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya. After taking over as Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Mr. Sharma initiated the Force’s partnership with Smile Train India to make free cleft surgeries accessible to children in the border areas in its deployment. 600+ cleft surgeries have been completed free of cost along India’s borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan & Nepal under this project.
He conceived a number of other path-breaking initiatives during his service. As Inspector General of Correctional Services, West Bengal, he introduced the concept of Culture Therapy for the transformation of inmates in correctional homes by nurturing their talents and imparting them with human dignity through public performances and exhibitions of their talents in various fields.
A documentary made by film director Avijit Dasgupta on the concept of Culture Therapy won 11 International Awards including the prestigious Golden Gate Award in 2009. Many other documentaries have been made on issues concerning prisons and prisoners featuring Mr. Sharma's work in prisons.
Among his other initiatives, Mr. Sharma introduced telephones for prisoners for the first time in India which is now being emulated in other States.
Mr. Sharma has been awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious Service and the President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service. In 2013 he was felicitated by the government of India "in recognition of his tireless pursuit of excellence, outstanding commitment in upholding human values and contribution in furthering cooperation between border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh".
After his retirement from the Indian Police Service, Mr.Sharma was appointed as Advisor to Governor of Arunachal Pradesh while the State was under President's rule. He currently serves as Advisor to the West Bengal Government in the Department of Correctional Administration at Kolkata. He advises the State Government on modernization of West Bengal Correctional Services, establishment of new Correctional Homes, and reforms and training of officers and men.