Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 10:
The remnants of the house where father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi spent a night during his ‘Harizan Rally’ 81 years back in Odisha’s Dandamukundpur will be renovated.
The two-storied building near the the-then Jagannath Sadak became a part of history when Gandhi stayed here for a night on May 10,1934. Lack of maintenance, however, has taken its toll on the building standing inside the paddy field.
The good news is that the house has finally come under the radar of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
“The preservation of the house will be taken care of in the project that tries to upkeep and maintain the remains of Old Jagannath Sadak,” said Anil Dhir, who identified the house from its remnants.
Gandhiji had come to Odisha and reached Puri on May 7, 1934 to start the Harizan rally. After a day of ‘Maunabrata’ he had addressed a public gathering on May 8 and had started the rally on the next day. During the ‘Pada Yatra’ he educated people against casteism, untouchability and emphasized on cleanliness and health.
He first spent a night at the house of a Dalit at Kadua and the next night he stayed in this house of Mahatma Rama Sahu following a meeting at the nearby high school (now Gopabandhu Memorial High School). He had stayed in the first floor of the house and left for Pipili the next morning after taking a bath in the nearby pond and breakfast.
Neither Rama Sahu, who was a famous and rich man from Cuttack is there to maintain the house nor are there his successors. But the building stands to tell the tale.