Come September and Bapu’s thoughts will spread across the globe, literally. Prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh will launch the official portal on Gandhi on September 2, helping people get access to the official material on Bapu.
“The PM will launch the portal in New Delhi on September 2 at 5 pm. People will be able to access the site from 7 pm of that day. The Gandhi heritage portal is set up to preserve, protect and disseminate original writings of Gandhiji,” said Kartikeya Sarabhai, trustee of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial on Tuesday.
The portal – www.gandhiheritageportal.org – provides 5,00,000 pages of material in the electronic format. The work includes collected works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) and the fundamental works of Gandhi. It also contains over 1,000 photographs, 21 films and 76 audio recordings. “The CWMG is available in Hindi, English and Gujarati. It provides seamless connectivity between different languages,” project director BS Bhatia said.
The project was initially recommended by the government of India-appointed panel headed by Gopal Krishna Gandhi. A grant of Rs. 7.50 crore was given by ministry of culture under development of heritage sites and works connected with Gandhi’s life.
“A 17-member team, with the help of scholars and others, worked for around 2 years to complete the work. Scanning of original works was outsourced. Each scanned image has been checked page-by-page,” Bhatia added.
The fundamental works of Gandhiji available on the portal includes Hind Swaraj, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (autobiography), From Yervada Mandir, Ashram Observances in Action, Constructive Programmes: Their Meanings and Plan, Key to Health and Gandhiji’s translation of the Gita. It will also provide an opportunity to enthusiasts, Gandhians and research scholars to read original journals like Hind Swaraj, Harijan. Harijan Bandhu, Indian Opinion and Young India.
“In future we would be adding the virtual tour of Gandhi heritage sites as well as adding another 5 lakh pages of material. At the end of the project, around 1 million pages will be available in multiple Indian and foreign languages,” Sarabhai added.