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29 Nov 2022, Edition - 2695, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at Podanur set for inauguration on Mahatma’s 153rd birth anniversary on Oct 02

Covai Post Network

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Mahatma Gandhi visited Coimbatore thrice in his lifetime and the GD House in Podanur remains testimonial to his visit to Coimbatore. This small tile-roofed house of Shri GD Naidu is the only known structure to exist as it was in Coimbatore where the Mahatma had stayed during his visit.

This house is restored with all its characters intact and converted into a memorial. This memorial is set for inauguration on the 153rd birth anniversary of the Mahatma on October 02 at 9:00 AM by Smt Krishnammal Jagannathan, A renowned Gandhian and social activist who closely worked with the tall leaders including the Mahatma, Shri Vinoba Bhave and Shri Jayaprakash Narayan.

Also, it is apt to have her inaugurate the memorial as she has been working for the upliftment of the marginalised and vulnerable sections for over 8 decades. Smt Krishnammal has established several NGOs that works for the upliftment of women, Dalits, the landless and the poor.

Along with her late husband Shri Sankaralingam Jagannathan, Smt Krishnammal founded Land for the Tillers Freedom (LAFTI), an organisation inspired by Gandhi’s ideas and rooted in the Bhoodan (Gift of Land) movement advocating redistribution of several thousand acres of land to the rural landless people.

Several prestigious awards have been bestowed upon her and the significant among them include the Jamnalal Bajaj Award, Summit Foundation Award, Opus Prize Award, the Right Livelihood Award, (the Alternate Nobel Peace Prize). More recently, she was awarded with Padma Bhushan recognising her mission to build an equitable society leading to sustainable development. As she continues to inspire millions across the world, she lives a life worth admiration and emulation.

The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial is planned as a simple, serene space for visitors to introspect and find the Mahatma within. It will perpetuate the life of Mahatma and his message. To keep the Mahatma and his values alive, it is essential to take him to the younger generation. This memorial is expected to fill the void for a full-fledged memorial for the Mahatma in western Tamil Nadu.

Mahatma Gandhi stayed for two nights in the G D House on 6th and 7th of February 1934. Ever since his visit, the house has been preserved by the G D family. With the efforts and guidance from Shri Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, the house has been refurbished by Chairman of the G D Group, Shri G D Gopal who took the initiative to raise this memorial keeping its static value intact.

The G D house was perpetuating Gandhian values even before the place was visited by the Mahatma. Sri Avinashilingam Ayya, the founder of the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya was running a small school for the Harijan students in GD House. Mahatma had patronized Harijan welfare and he was a strong advocate of their emancipation and hence became a perfect abode for Mahatma to stay. It was also at G D House that the Mahatma laid the foundation stone for the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, as requested by Shri Avinashilingam Ayya on the morning of 07th February 1934, which was later shifted to the permanent venue in Peryanaickenpalayam.

Mahatma Gandhi stayed for two nights in the G D House on 6th and 7th of February 1934. Ever since his visit, the house has been preserved by the G D family. With the efforts and guidance from Shri Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, the house has been refurbished by Chairman of the G D Group, Shri G D Gopal who took the initiative to raise this memorial keeping its static value intact.

The G D house was perpetuating Gandhian values even before the place was visited by the Mahatma. Sri Avinashilingam Ayya, the founder of the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya was running a small school for the Harijan students in GD House. Mahatma had patronized Harijan welfare and he was a strong advocate of their emancipation and hence became a perfect abode for Mahatma to stay. It was also at G D House that the Mahatma laid the foundation stone for the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, as requested by Shri Avinashilingam Ayya on the morning of 07th February 1934, which was later shifted to the permanent venue in Peryanaickenpalayam

The memorial will act as a learning centre besides being a memorial. The memorial will be open for public throughout the year. Visitors from over a 100 schools and colleges will be visiting the memorial throughout the year. Apart from monthly lectures, the premises will be utilised for running training programmes, lectures, workshops, seminars and training camps.

About the Memorial:

The memorial shall encompass four zones that include:

An exhibition showcasing the replica of the artefacts used by Mahatma, along with large photographs and paintings that reflect the historical connect with the Mahatma and Coimbatore.

A Photo Gallery illustrating the life and activities of Mahatma which shall serve as a source of inspiration and guidance to the visitors.

A Library that stacks rare books and literature on Mahatma and exclusive letters of Mahatma for the visitors to read, infer, and round-the-clock screening of unique original documentaries on Mahatma.

A Semi-open conference space to deliberate on the cardinal principles of Satyagraha, Dharma and Ahimsa which led to all new social construct.

A digital screen erected at the memorial will have videos on the Mahatma showcasing his life journey for the visitors.

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