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PM inaugurates Kochrab Ashram in Sabarmati, Gujarat

Launches Master Plan of Gandhi Ashram Memorial
“Sabarmati Ashram has kept alive Bapu’s values of truth and nonviolence, rashtra seva and seeing god’s service in the service of the deprived”
“Amrit Mahotsav created a gateway for India to enter into Amrit Kaal”
“A nation that is not able to preserve its heritage, loses its future too. Bapu’s Sabarmati Ashram is the heritage of humanity not just the country”
“Gujarat showed the way of preservation of heritage to the entire nation”
“Today, when India is moving forward with the determination to develop, this shrine of Mahatma Gandhi is a great inspiration for all of us”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi visited Sabarmati Ashram and inaugurated Kochrab Ashram and launched the Master plan of Gandhi Ashram Memorial today. The Prime Minister paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue and visited Hriday Kunj. He also took a walkthrough of the exhibition and planted a sapling. 

Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the Sabarmati Ashram has always been a vibrant center of incomparable energy and we feel the inspiration of Bapu in ourselves. “Sabarmati Ashram has kept alive Bapu’s values of truth and nonviolence, rashtra seva and seeing God’s service in the service of the deprived”, he added. The Prime Minister recounted Gandhi Ji’s time in the Kochrab Ashram where Gandhiji stayed before shifting to Sabarmati. Redeveloped Kocharab Ashram was dedicated to the nation today. The Prime Minister paid tributes to pujya Mahatma Gandhi and congratulated the citizens for the significant and inspirational projects of today. 

Noting today’s date of 12th March when pujya Bapu initiated the Dandi March and crafted the date in India’s freedom struggle in golden letters, the Prime Minister said that this historic day is a witness to the initiation of a new era in independent India. Underlining that the nation initiated the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav from Sabarmati Ashram on 12th March itself, PM Modi said that the event played a crucial role in remembering the sacrifices of the land. “Amrit Mahotsav created a gateway for India to enter into Amrit Kaal”, the Prime Minister said, observing that it created an atmosphere of togetherness among the citizens similar to what was witnessed during India’s independence. He highlighted the influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and beliefs and the scope of Amrit Mahotsav. “More than 3 crore people took the oath of Panch Pran during the  Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal program”, PM Modi said. He also informed about the development of more than 2 lakh Amrit Vatikas where more than 2 crore saplings were planted, the creation of more than 70,000 Amrit Sarovars towards water conservation, Har Ghar Tiranga campaign which became an expression of national devotion, and Meri Mati Mera Desh campaign where citizens paid tributes to freedom fighters. The Prime Minister also mentioned the foundation stone laying of more than 2 lakh projects during Amrit Kaal making Sabarmati Ashram a pilgrimage of the resolutions of Viksit Bharat

The Prime Minister said, “A nation that is not able to preserve its heritage loses its future too. Bapu’s Sabarmati Ashram is the heritage of humanity, not just the country”. Recalling the long neglect of this priceless heritage, the Prime Minister mentioned the shrinking of the area of the Ashram from 120 acres to 5 Acres and said that out of 63 buildings, only 36 buildings remained with only 3 buildings open for the visitors. He emphasized that it is the responsibility of all 140 crore Indians to keep the Ashram preserved given its significance in the freedom struggle. 

The Prime Minister acknowledged the cooperation of the Ashram dwellers in getting back the 55-acre land of the Ashram. He stated the intention of preserving all the buildings of the Ashram in their original form. 

The Prime Minister blamed the lack of willpower, colonial mindset and appeasement for the long neglect of such monuments. He gave an example of Kashi Vishwanath Dham where people cooperated and 12 acre land came out for the project for creating facilities for the devotees which resulted in the arrival of 12 crore pilgrims after the redevelopment of Kashi Vishwanath Dham. Similarly, 200 acre land was freed for the expansion of Shri Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya. There too more than 1 crore devotees have gone for Darshan in just the last 50 days. 

PM Modi said that Gujarat showed the way to the preservation of heritage for the entire nation. He mentioned the rejuvenation of Somnath under the leadership of Sardar Patel as a historic event. Other preservation examples are the city of Ahmedabad as a World Heritage City along with Champaner and Dholavira, Lothal, Girnar, Pavagadh, Modhera and Ambaji, he said. 

Referring to the development campaign for the restoration of heritage related to India’s freedom struggle, the Prime Minister mentioned the redevelopment of Rajpath in the form of Kartavya Path and establishment of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s statue, development of places related to independence on Andaman and Nicobar Islands, development of places related to B R Ambedkar in the form of ‘Panch Teerth’, unveiling of Statue of Unity in Ektanagar and transformation of Dandi. PM Modi emphasized that the restoration of Sabarmati Ashram is a crucial step in this direction. 

“Future generations and those visiting the Sabarmati Ashram will find inspiration from the power of charkha and its ability to give rise to a revolution. “Bapu had filled hope and faith in a nation that was suffering from despair due to centuries of slavery”, he said. Noting that Bapu’s vision shows a clear direction for India’s bright future, the Prime Minister said that the government is giving priority to the welfare of the rural poor and is running aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign by following the ideals of Aatmanirbharta and Swadeshi provided by Mahatma Gandhi. The Prime Minister also touched upon natural farming and informed that 9 lakh agricultural families in Gujarat have adopted natural farming which led to a reduction in usage of 3 lakh metric tons of urea. The Prime Minister stressed living through the ideals left behind by ancestors in the modern form and touched upon boosting Khadi usage to prioritize the livelihood of rural poor and aatmanirbhar campaign.

Referring to the empowerment of villages, the Prime Minister said that Bapu’s vision of Gram Swaraj is coming alive. He mentioned the growing role of women and said, “Be it self-help groups, more than 1 crore lakhpati didis, women ready to become drone pilots, this change is an example of a strong India and also a picture of an all-inclusive India.”

The Prime Minister also referred to 25 crore people coming out of poverty in the last 10 years due to the government’s efforts. He also touched upon India’s recent achievement in the Space sector. “Today, when India is moving forward with the determination to develop, this shrine of Mahatma Gandhi is a great inspiration for all of us. Therefore, the development of Sabarmati Ashram and Kochrab Ashram is not just the development of historical places. It also strengthens our faith in the resolve and inspiration of a Viksit Bharat”, the Prime Minister said. He expressed confidence that Bapu’s ideals and the inspirational places associated with him will continue to guide us in our journey of nation-building.

The Prime Minister called upon the Government of Gujarat and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to create a competition for guides as Ahmedabad is a heritage city and also urged the schools to take at least 1000 children every day to Sabarmati Ashram and spend time. “This will allow us to relive the moments without the need for any extra budget”. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that providing a new perspective will give strength to the nation’s development journey.

Governor of Gujarat, Shri Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Patel were present on the occasion among others.  

Background

The Prime Minister inaugurated the redeveloped Kochrab Ashram. It was the first Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi after coming to India from South Africa in 1915. It is still preserved as a memorial and tourist space by Gujarat Vidyapeeth. The Prime Minister also launched the Master Plan of the Gandhi Ashram Memorial.

It has been the constant endeavor of the Prime Minister to uphold and cherish the ideals that Mahatma Gandhi stood for and also develop avenues which showcase his ideals and bring him closer to the people. In yet another effort in this endeavor, the Gandhi Ashram Memorial Project will help revitalize Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and philosophy for present and future generations. Under this master plan, the existing five-acre area of the Ashram will be expanded to 55 acres. 36 existing buildings shall undergo restoration, out of which, 20 buildings including ‘Hriday Kunj’, which served as Gandhi’s residence, will be conserved, 13 will undergo restoration, and 3 will be reproduced.

The masterplan includes new buildings to house administration facilities, visitor facilities like orientation center, interactive workshops on charkha spinning, handmade paper, cotton weaving and leatherwork and public utilities. The buildings will house interactive exhibits and activities to showcase aspects of Gandhiji’s life as well as the legacy of the Ashram. The Masterplan also envisages the creation of a library and archives building to preserve, protect and disseminate Gandhiji’s ideas. It will also create facilities for visiting scholars to use the Ashram’s library and archives. The project will also enable the creation of an interpretation center that can guide visitors with different expectations and in multiple languages, making their experience culturally and intellectually more stimulating and enriching.

The Memorial will serve as an inspiration for future generations, fostering Gandhian thoughts and will enliven the essence of Gandhian values, through a process informed by principles of Trusteeship.

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