| The house in Motihari where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his 1917 Champaran visit. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
The district administration is keen on preserving sites and articles associated with Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran visit.
In a letter sent to the principal secretaries of tourism as well as art, culture and youth affairs departments, East Champaran district magistrate Abhijit Sinha has sought the permission to acquire a house, then owned by a lawyer, late Gorakh Prasad.
According to the letter, Bapu had stayed in the house for about a week in April 1917.
In 1958, Gorakh Prasad’s house was sold to the family of Nathuni Singh and Mahendra Singh of Kapur-Pakri village, nearly 30km east of Motihari.
Mahendra Singh’s grandson Madhusudan Singh owns the house, which is spread over four cottahs.
The district administration now intends to develop the house into a heritage and tourist spot.
Apart from renovating the house, the district administration is also planning to beautify Gandhi Sangrahalaya. Gandhi Smarak Stambh, the historical building housing district board office and Bal Udyan, a school started by Gandhi in Barharwa Lakhansen village under Dhaka block, are some of the structures that would be promoted as heritage sites.
“We are taking the preservation and renovation of important sites related to Gandhiji very seriously. The house where he had stayed during his Champaran visit is first on the list of renovation,” Abhijit Sinha said.
A source in the district administration, however, said restoration would completely depend on approval from the two departments and the amount of funds allocated for each site.