The Chhattisgarh government will expedite the construction of Gandhi Sevagram with a budget allocation of Rs 125 crore in the upcoming state capital.
The Congress government in Chhattisgarh is building a Sevagram on the lines of one established in Maharashtra’s Wardha. The aim is to preserve the values, principles, ideals, and concept of ‘Gram-Swaraj’ of Mahatma Gandhi, along with democratic and constitutional values of freedom struggle.
The project will take shape in 75 acres of land in Nava Raipur. Former National President of Congress Rahul Gandhi performed Bhoomi Pujan of Sevagram in February.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel inspected the site and took note of the slow progress of construction and directed the officials to accelerate the pace.
The project will resemble a typical traditional Chhattisgarhi village in the heart of Nava Raipur, considered to be India’s sixth planned city after Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Chandigarh (Punjab and Haryana), and Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), and fourth among the capital cities.
The roads in the village will also be built according to the rural environment, full of greenery.
Centers of Gandhian principles, rural arts, and crafts will be developed in Sevagram, where guidance will be given by guest subject-experts. This will not only encourage folk arts of Chhattisgarh, but will also house old-age people and schools for the underprivileged.
Noted historian Shashank Sharma, however, contested the theme of the project: “Gandhiji stayed in Wardha Sevagram and it had been a residential memorial. Making its similar model will have no logic as it will be a mere structure and without the soul of Gandhism.”
Sharma said four ashrams established by the Gandhians in Chhattisgarh had been in a bad shape. Instead of going for a new project, the state could have renovated and given a new shape to it, Sharma said.
Baghel said Gandhi Sevagram would also symbolise strengthening the rural economy and self-reliant village.
The Wardha-based Sevagram has given an assistance of Rs 1.50 lakh for the one to be built in Nava Raipur.