Being in Ahmedabad, I planned to visit Sabarmati Ashram on 4th January, 2019, which was at a distance of about 36 kms from the place of my stay. I hired a cab and within 40 mins., I was at my destination. I pinched myself twice to make sure I was at a place where once ‘Father of our nation – Bapu ji’ resided. There were a number of cottages spread over the entire area. The cottages had been well preserved and maintained by the authorities. The place was calm and serene, situated along the banks of Sabarmati river with a lot of greenery all over. I came across an isolated cottage –Magan Niwas.
“After returning to India in 1915, Gandhi ji went around the country and decided to establish an ashram near Ahmedabad. On the lines of Tolstoy Farm and Phoenix Ashram he had set up in South Africa, he started the Kochrab ashram on 22 May, 1915 which was shifted on 17 June, 1917 on the banks of river Sabarmati and hence came to be known as Sabarmati Ashram.”(Quoted in Ashram gallery).
As I walked across the various galleries, where large no. of pictures, posters and quotes of Gandhi ji and his associates were displayed, my thoughts were taken back to pre- Independence times. The pious wooden spinning wheel – the Charkha which had led the wave of revolution could be seen in one of the galleries and in the other one the Dandi march scene. A pathora of struggle for independence lay hidden in the galleries.
From the galleries I was on to the path that went towards Sabarmati bank, though the gates towards the river were closed at this time of the day. There stood the Vinoba Kutir and Mira Kutir. I wondered how those great personalities lived therein small cottages with wooden roofs and small windows.
The Ashram serves as a source of inspiration and guidance for the new generation. Gandhi ji was an apostle of truth and non-violence spreading the message of peace all over. Sabarmati Ashram stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and is a testimony of India’s struggle for independence.
To be contd……