L. P. Vidyarthi

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Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi (28 February 1931–1985) was one of the most renowned Indian anthropologists of the 20th century. He was the Head of the Department of Anthropology, Ranchi University, Ranchi, India.

Childhood and beginnings

Vidyarthi was born in the small village of Bariyarpur, located near Barh in Patna district of Bihar, India, on 28 February 1931. After he had completed his initial schooling his family shifted to Gaya in 1940, where his father was employed as an Assistant Lawyer in Mukhsudpur estate. He matriculated in 1946, achieving top merit in his school and a very high ranking in the State standings and hence was readily accepted at both Patna Arts College and Patna Science College of Patna University.

He was, at this juncture torn between studying Science and Humanities but soon he decided that Science education like engineering or medicine would be too expensive for his family and took up Geography as his honours subject. In 1950, Vidyarthi received a first class degree in Geography(M.A.).

At this point he heard about a Scholarship announced for the students undertaking Anthropology and applied for it. When he was accepted for the course he came into a dilemma of whether to continue the field of Geography or to explore the new subject of Anthropology. Acharya Narendra Deo, the then Vice-Chancellor of University of Lucknow persuaded Vidyarthi to study Anthropology and helped him to get admission to Lucknow University. He did his Phd from University of......
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