I wrote this on the 24th of June 2010 . It is part of my collection of posts regarding my OTS in the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra
I arrived in Wardha yesterday. It is an hour’s drive from Yeotmal. I am staying at a hotel called Harisons which is diagonally opposite the ST stand. Not a great hotel, but then it’s the best in this district. Unfortunately the wholesale market is also located opposite the ST stand which prevented me from exploring the town.
However six kilometers from Wardha ST Stand is Sewagram, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed for a long time. One can take a rickshaw from the ST stand which will cost Rs 10 per person. Be ready to share the rickshaw with 5 other passengers. Sewagram has an exhibition centre which houses a neat canteen and a souvenir shop which sells Khadi and organic products. The exhibition centre houses the stand which was used to transport Gandhi’s ashes. Through photos and miniature models, it traces the journey of a man who went from being Mohan to Mahatma.
The centre also has a book shop. Three books which I bought were Panchayati Raj by Mahatma Gandhi, Public Finance and our Poverty and Economy of Permanence both authored by J C Kumarappa. He was Chartered Accountant and an Economist who spent latter part of his life as a disciple of Gandhi. I also bought a kurta and a shirt from the shop.
The place which houses Bapu kuti or Gandhi’s house has been well maintained. It was a hamlet which housed Gandhi and his followers. It was self sufficient. It had cattle, and farming was also undertaken. Even today farming is undertaken on the one hundred acre land. All farming is organic.
The land belonged to the industrialist and eminent Gandhian Jamnalal Bajaj. Gandhi referred to him as his “fifth” son. In fact there is a large statue of Jamnalal Bajaj outside the ST stand. I was surprised to see this as we are not a country which admires industrialists, traders and businessmen.
After Mani Bhavan which was the Mahatma’s abode in Mumbai, this is the second house of the great man that I have been to. Staying so close to Ahmedabad, I guess Sabarmati Ashram would be the third house of the great man which I will visit in the coming year.
I now head back to Amravati. Probably a trip to Nagpur would be on the cards next week. Lets see what the largest town of Vidharbha has in store for me.