Childhood and Family

Saryu Roy was born on July 16, 1951 in a middle class farmer family in a small village named 'Khanita' of around 100 households in Itahi Block of erstwhile Shahabad district in Bihar. In an administrative restructuring of Bihar in 1991 Shahabad was divided in four districts - Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas and Kaimur. This village is now in Buxar district bordering Uttar Pradesh from North and West. Buxar, situated on the right flank of river Ganges, is an ancient place which finds mention in Bal Kand of Goswami Tulsidas Ramayan as a seat of tapasya of Maharshi Vishwamitra who brought Ram and Lakshman to annihilate the group of demons consisting Tadika, Marich, Subahu and others.

Erstwhile Shahabad district is famous as a fountain head of revolt during the first freedom struggle of India in 1857 under the brave leadership of octogenarian warrior Vir Kunwar Singh who declared war against the mighty British Rule from his headquarter Jagdishpur in Shahabad and defeated them where ever he marched in north India.

His birth place Khanita is a small village of around 100 households consisting of various castes and sub castes of Hindu and about a dozen houses of Muslim community as well. This village inherits glorious tradition of caste and communal harmony. The age old open sky worship place of Lord Shiva called as Budha Mahadev in the village is surrounded by Muslim houses from all sides. Be it the occasion of Holi and Diwali or Eid and Moharram both the Hindu and Muslims participate and help in each other's celebrations. Moharram Tazia was carried by Hindus and ferried around entire village before its Pahlam at Karbala and Holi at open sky Budha Mahadev worship place was rejoiced by the neighboring Muslim families in the same spirit. Till now these old traditions are observed in the village. Hindu-Muslim fraternity is intact despite upheavals in other parts of the state, the country and the globe. It was and also it is difficult to recognize the persons of different communities from their day to day attire or facial look.

The village with fertile alluvial land and assured irrigation is surrounded by the historical Sone Canals from three sides. It was not connected by motorable road till the end of the eighth plan period (1992-97). It used to remain cut off from the mainland for six months in a year beginning from the period of monsoon rains in July to the completion of paddy harvesting season in December. The only mode of transport to fetch the goods of daily consumption by the retail village shopkeepers in this period were the horses and the donkeys. The bullock carts were the medium of transport in remaining six months from January to June which later on were replaced by Tractors and Jeeps on dusty kuchcha field roads. The village was connected by all weather black top roads to block/sub divisional centre in the midst of ninth plan period 1997-2002 with his effort through his Local Area Development Fund as member of Bihar Legislative council.

His father Late Keshaw Prasad Rai did not have formal education and was literate to the extent of just putting signature and mother Late Sukhwasi Devi was a housewife, not literate at all. He has five sisters all except one are elder to him, besides a younger brother, Yamuna Rai who looks after ancestral farming in the village.