If you are one of those people who think that Sevagram is just a station that you cross on your way to Nagpur, you might not be entirely correct. This quaint little town has been a part of the Satyagraha movement that shaped India’s destiny.
This village was the place of Gandhiji's ashram and his residence from 1936 to his death in 1948.
Apart from being an advocate of truth and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi also believed in simplicity, and with the way he lived his life, he set an example for generations to follow.Today, as the nation celebrates Bapu’s 148th birth anniversary, we thought why not talk about the simplistic way of life that the father of our nation followed and how all of us too can be inspired by his way of life at the Sevagram Ashram.
In 1934, Gandhiji decided to start the Village Industries Association. He gave much thought to the choice of a suitable place as headquarters. Jamnalal Bajaj wished to persuade Bapu to select Wardha as the headquarters, and took advantage of this occasion to point out that it was a good choice as it was situated in the centre of India, and he himself was prepared to present his buildings, gardens, furniture and other implements for the work of the Village Industries Association.
Gandhiji accepted the offer, and Jamnalalji handed over his beautiful garden and building to the organisation as promised. The estate was named Maganwadi in memory of the late Maganlal Gandhi. Maganwadi thus became the headquarters. Bapu began staying there with the idea of organising and popularising the work of the Association. He remained at Maganwadi for nearly a year and a half. There were so many important events which took place during the period in connection with village uplift work like revival of village industries, village sanitation, food experiments and discussions with constructive workers.
Image source: indianholiday
Gandhiji was 67 years old when he came to Segaon (as it was known at that time). Many decisions on important national matters and movements were taken at Sevagram. It became the central place for a number of institutions for the nation-building activities devised by Gandhiji to suit the inherent strength of this country.
Sevagram is 8 km from Wardha town in Maharashtra and 75 km from Nagpur. In spite of many practical difficulties, Gandhiji decided to settle here.
Many times, letters addressed to Gandhiji would be misdirected to Shegaon, as the names were quite similar. Therefore, in 1940, Bapu decided to change the name of Segaon to Sevagram, the village of service.
Bapu and Ba’s kutis are still intact and can be visited at the Sevagram Ashram. Apart from the kutis, one can also visit the Adi Nivas, the first hut built in the ashram. Other places of interest include Bapu’s secretariat, Bapu’s kitchen, Parchure kuti and Mahadev kuti.
Image source: wardhaonline
The newly developed (1991) Gandhi Photo Exhibition, exhibiting the life and works of Gandhiji, is also popular among tourists.
In 1982, the government built a Yatri Nivas at the Ashram, for the benefit of visitors and for holding training camps and conferences by various constructive work institutions.
“My life is my message,” Bapu used to say, and till the very end, he lived by his word.
This Gandhi Jayanti, the best way to pay tribute to the father of the nation is by trying to adopt some of his principles in our daily lives, because statues or photos hanging on the wall can never do justice to the man he was and what he did for this country.