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Unique Gandhi Asram of Ahmadabad

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Khurram Zaman, Special Correspondent, Barta24.com | 14 April 2019, 02:11PM

Unique Gandhi Asram of Ahmadabad
Photo: Barta24

From Ahmadabad Gandhi Asram: Gandhi Asram is one of the center points of Indian freedom movement. Though it is known as Gandhi Asram but its’ official name is Sabarmati Asram. Again some call it ‘Stayagraha’ Asram. In 2017 it completed hundred years of its establishment.

The Asram was established on the bank of Sabarmati river of Ahmadabad, capital of Gujarat province of India. In 1917 this Asram has begun its journey with Mahatma Gandhi. The key man of Indian freedom movement also lived in this Asram. He led the liberation movement from this Asram. He also conducted historical foot walk ‘Dundee’ from this Asram. That is why this place has become a place of love for millions of Indian. About one million people visit this Asram every year.

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Though Gandhi was born in Porbandar town of Gujarat still this Asram has become a place of worship. This Asram is located as far as 2500 kilometers from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. This Asram reminds the Bangla visit of Gandhi.

In 1946 when there was a communal riot in Noakhali district Gandhi paid a hurried visit there and went to Bagumganj and also visited Joyag under present Sonaimuri pourashava. The Zamindar of that area Barrister Hemanta Kumar Das handed over all his moveable and immovable properties to Gandhi and also set up a trust after the name of his parents ‘Ambica- Kaliganga’ charitable trust. However in 1975 the trust was named after Gandhi as Gandhi Asram trust according to government decision.

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According to the sources, the Asram was set up on 36 acres of land on the bank of Sabarmati just seven miles north of Ahmadabad. On January 9 of 1915 after returning from Africa Gandhi mulled to set up an Asram in Ahmadabad. Accordingly he set up an Asram in village Kochrab.  Next he found a better place on the bank of Sabarmati to set up an Asram in a bigger scale. Next on June 17 of 1917 he set up this Asram. Gandhi took the initiative of carrying political movements along with agriculture activities, livestock rearing, dairy firm and producing ‘Khadi’ cloth. Afterwards on May 10 of 1963 the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared this Asram as memorial where a big museum was set up.  

There is no entry fee here. The Asram has been decorated with beautiful gardens. The Sabarmati is passing by the side of the Asram quietly carrying clear water. There are concrete built ‘Ghats’ on both sides. The Gandhi museum is located on the left side of the Asram. The museum contains library, photo gallery, mementos used by Gandhi, manuscripts, letters, various news papers of that time etc. A copper statute of Gandhi in devotion mood is also there. As if Gandhi is present here.

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An official of the museum informed that there are manuscripts of a number of books numbering 9000 pages, 34117 letters on freedom struggle of India, 8000 thousand photographs of Gandhi life including ‘Dundee’ foot walk, 185 documentary films and 40 thousand books.

The letters contain letter of Gandhi written to Hitler, letter of Tagore to Gandhi.  Regular shows are held in the Asram on the documentary films on Gandhi. ‘Hridoy Kunja’ the residence of Gandhi is located close to Sabarmati. Tally built semi pucca home where a ‘charka’ on the varandha is still there.  Tagore conferred the title Mahatma to Gandhi while he had been living here.  

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Gandhi had begun his freedom struggle and historical ‘Dundee foot walk’ from here on March 12 of 1930 protesting the Salt Law of the English ruler. Gandhi reached Dundee village of Cumby gulf along with 79 ‘Satya grahis’ after travelling 390 kilometers in 24 days.

Next on April 6 he produced salt after boiling sea water protesting the black laws of the British rulers. The Indian Independencemovement got momentum from this great foot walk.