Jagatsinghpur, Dec 4 (LocalWire): Social activists have sought the renovation of 97-year-old Alaka Ashram, a memorial for freedom fighters established in the district in 1922 as a meeting place for young revolutionaries.
To establish this Ashram, Gopabandhu Chaudhury, Bhagirathi Mahapatra and Pranakrushna Padhiary acted as chief mobilizing forces.
Local freedom fighters rue the administration’s lackadaisical attitude towards the Ashram which is now lying in derelict condition.
The ashram was the meeting place for young volunteers (Banarsena) and a weekly ‘Utkalika’ edited by Sarala Devi, spreading the ideas of the Congress party like boycotting foreign clothes was edited and published from here.
The Congress party used the Ashram as a place to train its workers and volunteers.
The Ashram situated on 55-acres land on the banks of the Alaka River in Jagatsinghpur town was known as the meeting ground of revolutionaries.
Freedom fighter-cum-former Chief Minister Nabkrushna Choudhry, Jatiya Kabi Birakishore Das, Gopabandhu Chaudhry, Rama Devi, Malati Chudhry, Sarala Devi, Prankrushna Padihari used to meet here to chalk out programmes.
A training centre was also opened here to teach people how to use the ‘charkha’ to weave khadi clothes.
Jawaharlal Nehru visited the Ashram in 1937 while other freedom fighters like Ashok Meheta, Jaya Prakash Narayan also visited it to give a morale boost to the local freedom fighters.
The Ashram which was a well-known institution presents a sorry picture now as the lands have been encroached upon by local villagers.
Under the banner of Jagatsinghpur Bikash Manch social activists led by former MP Swami and chairperson of Odisha Gandhivadi Forum, Reena Routray, met the Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra and sought his intervention to renovate the Ashram compared as Sabarmati Ashram of Odisha.
Earlier, different organizations and freedom fighters sought the intervention of the administration for its renovation.
‘The administration has planned to indentify land to relocate the Ashram as it is the pride of Jagatsinghpur district and we seek the cooperation of all sections of people for the noble cause,’ the Collector said.