At the dawn of Independence in November 1947, a renowned Agricultural Scientist, working in a high position under the then Bihar Govt., Professor Pabitra Kumar Sen (1906-1997) established Seva Bharati by taking 100 acres of undulated barren land situated in Kapgari and Bagda Mouza from the then Zamindar Jagadish Chandra Deo Dhabaldeb. Education was unknown in the area. The area was highly drought-prone. The land was undulated, the soil lateritic, and rainfall was normally low; less than 1% of the land was irrigated. Market, road and other infrastructural facilities were absent. The villages were predominantly inhabited by poor people belonging to Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Castes and other backward communities. Poverty was so widespread that the people lived much below the ‘poverty line’. As a result, the area presented a very gloomy picture of increasing joblessness, abysmal poverty and moral degradation The Raja of Chilkigarh, the local Zamindar was good enough to make 40 acres of waste land lying in the boarder of Kapgari and two adjacent villages of Bagda and Panrusuli, available on permanent lease to Prof. Sen to embark upon his cherished work. He purchased another 10 acres from villagers to make the area contiguous and compact. Seva Bharati got into a modest start in November 1947 with the help of some of Prof. Sen’s family members and with cooperation of the local people belonging to Kapgari and nearby villages. About this time the University of Calcutta came to Prof. Sen’s aid, appointing him Khaira Professor of Agriculture in March 1948, thus he was able to pursue this project alongside his University work.
Prof. Sen realized that without the development of village, the development of West Bengal as well as India is a far cry. For this very purpose he established Junior Basic School, Senior Basic School, Higher Secondary (XIth Class) School with Agriculture, Pre-Basic, Village Health Centre and an Agriculture Research Centre. In 1963, 8 students of Agriculture appeared in XIth Class Final Examination, out of which 7 students secured second division. Out of the guardians of seven students, two very poor solemnly requested to Prof. Sen to establish a college to continue their wards' education in their village. This heartfelt request moved Prof. Sen deeply.
After that, initiatives for establishment of a college were taken heartily and a proposed College Governing Body was formed under the Presidentship of Prof. Sen and Sri Debidas Biswas, a visionary local, was the Secretary of the Proposed Governing Body. After necessary inspection the Calcutta University approved the proposed Seva Bharati Mahavidyalaya on the 17th July, 1964 and permitted to admit, some Arts subjects at UG level and the Mahavidyalaya started its voyage with only 65 students in 1964-65. The avowed purpose was to cater to the need of higher education of the students of SC, ST-dominated, underdeveloped and socially underprivileged backward rural area of Jhargram Sub-Division of erstwhile Midnapore district. Empowering the poor and academically backward people of Kapgari and its adjoining areas was the sole aim and objective of founding the Seva Bharati Mahavidyalaya.
The name “Seva Bharati” suggests that the ideal India can only be constituted on the noble principle of “seva” or service. The word “Bharati” is pregnant with significance; one meaning of “Bharati” is speech, another learning, yet another, the presiding deity of India. The Mahavidyalaya is dedicated to this noble service since its establishment, and it has completed its fifty years of glorious service to the Nation. The motto of the Mahavidyalaya is "Tapasya, Seva, Pragati" ― which means that the development of either the Nation or of the individual is a progressive concept, which can be achieved through sincere contemplation and selfless service. The “Pragati” or progress of India would come through the enlightenment of the society. The eight images of flowers scattered within the flower-wheel of the logo symbolize the progressive and full flowering of human potentials along with the growth of life.
Though the Mahavidyalaya faced different forms of obstacles like financial crunch, lack of permanent posts, uneasy communication etc. still it is marching ahead with its sole objective of providing quality education irrespective of caste, creed, religion, financial and physical health status of the students. We have come a long way but we do humbly acknowledge in Robert Browning's words, "...the petty done/ the undone vast."