New Delhi: For more than 10,000 domestic and foreign visitors who visit Mahatma Gandhiji’s Samadhi at Rajghat in the national capital every day, there is nothing much to engage the visitors about his life and and thoughts other than the black stone platform that marks the spot where Gandhiji was cremated.
To address this deficiency and to enhance the engaging experience of the visitors, the Rajghat Samadhi Samiti, under the Ministry of Urban Development has undertaken several initiatives during the last two years and they will be inaugurated tomorrow on the occasion of the 69th death anniversary of the Father of the Nation. These initiatives come 15 years after last such major improvement works at Rajghat.
For the first time, a 157 word brief profile of Mahatma and a 131 word description of Gandhi Samadhi have been put on display, both in Hindi and English, at all the three gates of Rajghat.
The profile says Mahatma espoused “Truth, Non-violence, Sarvadharma Samabhava, Gram Swaraj, Trusteeship and Swadeshi which are the building blocks of a new social order free from all kinds of exploitation, discrimination and domination”. Profile on Rajghat says “ The Samadhi reflects the simplicity of Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi’s life”.
30 Amrit Vachans (eternally relevant thoughts of Gandhiji) have been engraved on marble and displayed on granite stone pedestals for inspiring the visitors to Rajghat. These include-“Innumerable are the names of God; but if a choice were to be made of one, it would be Sat or Satya, that is Truth. Hence, verily Truth is God”, “He who is unable to rule over self, can never really succeed in ruling over others” and “He who is truly clean within, can not remain unclean without”. These pedestals have been designed to merge with the ambience and architecture of Rajghat and each pedestal illuniated by LED light atop aesthetically designed light post.
All the existing conventional lights at Rajghat Complex have been replaced by energy efficient and environment friendly LED lights and are placed atop 104 aesthetically designed poles replacing the old ones. These LED lights result in energy saving of 60,000 KWH annually. Solar panels have been installed above roof tops and cycle shed at the parking area of Rajghat that will generate 52 KW of energy.
For enhanced security and better monitoring of visitors, 27 CCTV cameras have been installed with a Central Control Room for monitoring.
Besides inaugurating these new initiatives tomorrow i.e January 30, 2017, Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu will also release a special edition of Rajghat Samadhi Patrika, commemorating the 100th year of Champaran Satyagraha launched by Gandhiji.
Other major initiatives taken up and executed during the last two years include; setting up of Kasturba Gandhi Souvenir Store in the parking area for making available souvenirs related to Gandhiji at reasonable prices, Landscaping, regressing, improvement of water bodies and plantation, Laying of Cobbled Stone on the road between parking area of Rajghat and Samadhi to regulate speed of vehicles, setting up of CISF Control Rooms near the main gates and equipped with modern gadgets like DFMD, X-ray machines etc.
A two day International Seminar was held by the Rajghat Samadhi Samiti in March, 2015, the first of its kind on the theme “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream” . A quarterly ‘Rajghat Smadhi Patrika’ was launched on this occasion by the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and since being published by the Rajghat Samadhi Samiti chaired by the Urban Development Minister, to spread Gandhian thoughts. A nine day ‘Manas Rajghat Katha’ by Shri Morari Bapu was also organized last year, again for the first time.
The last Rajghat improvement works were initiated during 1999-2000 by the then Minister of Urban Development Minister Shri Jagmohan and his successor Shri Anant Kumar. These works include relaying of pathways and parikrama, construction of compound wall on Western and Southern sides, renovation of water lagoon, redesigning of the entrances and gate on ring road side, development of shallow water body with fountain, development of separate parking area etc.