Mumbai: In 1936, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi decided to live in a village, he chose Segaon in Wardha district, and instructed his follower, Munnalal, to not spend more than a hundred rupees in making the ashram. It began as a modest conglomeration of huts —one for Gandhi, another for his wife, Kasturba, and one for guests, as well as a common kitchen that overlooked the courtyard where Gandhi led the daily prayers for the decade that he lived here. Together, these constituted what came to known as Sevagram ashram.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray gave his nod to an additional ₹81 crore to develop the ashram under an initiative called Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi: An Experience, which will be overseen by the Public Works Department and the Wardha district collectorate.
This amount will be used to develop an interactive presentation on Gandhian economic principles as well as his progressive views on religion, caste and gender. The money will also be used to build a research centre, an exhibition centre, a heritage trail, as well as a library.
In October 2020, ₹162.51 crore was allocated for the widening of highways and roads through Wardha city along the Dattapur-Sevagram-Madni stretch. The allocation also included stone paving, creating a cycle track, as well as signage on the road leading to the ashram.
“The plan includes a library and resource centre. Gandhi’s 3-D image would be displayed at an interactive exhibition centre. Using 3D imaging and multimedia technology, Gandhiji’s thoughts on economy, religion, caste, and gender would be conveyed to the younger generation,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Apart from this, the Wardha railway station will also get new art including murals and artefacts to celebrate Gandhi’s life.
The work is estimated to be completed in 18 to 24 months.
Thackeray also instructed that the work to be done under the Sevagram Development Plan — the blueprint of the town’s overall development — should be completed on time, and that officials must ensure that the quality of the work remains excellent.
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