PM Modi inaugurates Kochrab Ashram, unveils master plan for Gandhi Ashram Memorial

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Ahmedabad, March 12 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the redeveloped Kochrab Ashram and launched the Master Plan of Gandhi Ashram Memorial here at Sabarmati Ashram on Tuesday.

The Kochrab Ashram was the first Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi upon his return from South Africa in 1915.

The historic site is maintained by Gujarat Vidyapeeth as a memorial and tourist attraction.

The Gandhi Ashram Memorial Project, as unveiled by the Prime Minister, aims to expand the current five-acre Ashram area to 55 acres, with a focus on restoring and preserving 36 of its buildings. This includes the conservation of Hriday Kunj, Gandhi’s former residence, alongside the addition of new buildings for administrative and visitor facilities, interactive exhibits, and workshops to immerse visitors in Gandhian philosophy.

At the ceremony, Prime Minister Modi reflected on the Ashram’s significance, noting its reduction from 120 acres to merely 5 over the years, with only 36 of the original 63 structures remaining, and just three accessible to visitors.

“This Ashram that has been a cradle of history and played a pivotal role in our freedom struggle draws global visitors seeking to connect with its legacy. Thanks to the cooperative spirit of the families that resided here, we’ve managed to reclaim 55 acres of the Ashram land,” the Prime Minister said.

To further engage the youth with Gandhian values, Prime Minister Modi proposed a school competition across Gujarat to train guides knowledgeable about the Sabarmati Ashram, its history, and its activities.

He suggested that a thousand children should be introduced to the Ashram daily.

Highlighting the “neglect by previous administrations due to political appeasement, which led to the heritage site’s encroachment, mismanagement, and littering”, Prime Minister Modi contrasted this with the successes seen in Kashi and Ayodhya, where land reclamation and development efforts have revitalized these historic sites.

Furthermore, the plan includes establishing a library and archives to disseminate Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and provide research facilities for scholars. An interpretation centre will also be developed to accommodate visitors from diverse backgrounds.

Earlier in the day, at Ahmedabad’s DFC Operation Control Centre, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation for projects worth Rs 1,06,000 crore in Gujarat and flagged off 10 new Vande Bharat Express trains and extended four others.



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