Kendrapara, Oct 2 (LocalWire): Construction of the government ’s proposed Mahatma Museum at Garapur on the outskirts of Kendrapara town, which was supposed to open on October 2 this year, is likely to be completed next year due to the COVID-19 crisis.
A portion of the bungalow at Garapur is being developed as a museum by the district administration.
Last year, the administration had set October 2, 2020 as the deadline for the completion of the project.
However, the coronavirus has pushed the completion date ahead as the construction work of the museum is moving at a snail’s pace.
“It would take another four to five months for us to complete the work,” said Samarth Verma, the district collector of Kendrapara.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Father of the Nation on 2nd October last year, the authorities had decided to convert a portion of the colonial bungalow at Garapur, where Gandhi stayed for three days in 1934 during his historic Padayatra, into a museum.
Public Works Department (PWD) is the owner of the bungalow at Garapur for which last year Prafulla Kumar Mallik the Minister of Steel & Mines visited the bungalow and discussed with the district administration about the proposed Gandhi museum, added Verma.
A khadi cloth selling center, a photo gallery, a library and a conference hall will be opened in the proposed Gandhi museum. Gandhi used tables, chairs and other furniture during his visit to Kendrapara district. The authorities will preserve all the items in the museum, added Verma.
Gandhi stayed from 27th May to 29th May 1934 in this bungalow during his historic Padayatra. The Padayatra by Gandhiji was one of the most important events in the country’s freedom struggle.
“Gandhi allowed Dalits to enter temples in some villages during his long walk in Odisha in 1934. Gandhi also addressed a public meeting at Garapur on 28th May 1934,” said Nanda Kishor Parida, the former principal of Kendrapara college.
Among those that accompanied Gandhi during his visit were Meera Ben, Gopabandhu Choudhury, Raj Krishna Bose, Rama Devi, a German youth K. Kuto, Uma Bajaj, Binod Kanungo, Surendranath Pattnayak, Manmohan Choudhury, Jadumani Mangaraj and many others, said Dr. Basudev Das a researcher of Kendrapara.
Mahatma Gandhi had visited the village Dhumat in Kendrapara district on May 30, 1934 and stayed in a house which was later converted into a Gandhi ashram.
Mahatma Gandhi had planted one banyan tree near the Gandhi ashram in Dhumat on 30th May, 1934. Now, the tree stands like a mute spectactor at Dhumat, added Dr Das.