Mr. B D Sharma
Mr. Banshi Dhar Sharma is a retired Indian Police Service Officer from the 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) in 2012 and 2014, Mr. Sharma established a partnership with Smile Train under the name ‘Darpan.’ His brainchild brought together BSF, Rotary International Club of Kolkata, and the Bhagwan Mahaveer Cleft Foundation to support cleft surgeries for children from the bordering areas of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya through the funding support of Smile Train. 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 under its purview. To date, this project has made 600+ free cleft surgeries possible along India’s borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
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 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.
He 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 Advisor to the 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 modernizing the West Bengal Correctional Services, establishing new Correctional Homes, and reforming and training officers.