Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced to turn the historic Deekshabhoomi here, where Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, into a world-class monument.
Addressing a gathering of followers of the late Dalit leader at Deekshabhoomi on the occasion of 59th Dhamma Chakra Pravarta day, Fadnavis called the managing committee of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti to engage and involve global experts who have studied the philosophy of Ambedkar in preparing a master plan.
"The state government will fund the entire project to make Deekshabhoomi a world attraction for international tourists," he said. Union Minister for Shipping and Transport, Nitin Gadkari presided over the function, while Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole, Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Karnataka Minister for Social Justice H Anjaiyya, former Maharashtra Social Justice and District Guardian Minister Shivajirao Moghe, were present on the occasion.
Fadnavis said the house in London, where Ambedkar stayed during his studies, will be dedicated to public on November 12 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also said the state government would set up a Chair in London School of Economics for research in economics in memory of Ambedkar.
"An attractive memorial will come up on the land of Indu Mills in Mumbai, which was handed over by the Centre to the state government and bhoomipujan was performed recently," he said. Fadnavis assured the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti to consider the proposal to acquire the adjacent land for the use of Deekshabhoomi.
In his speech, Gadkari announced laying of 800 kms Buddhist circuit roads worth Rs 4,000 crore, which will link all the important places, where Lord Gautam Buddha lived, including Kapilvastu (near Nepal) to Kushinagar to Sarnath.
"The work on proposed Buddhist circuit will commence within the next two months, which will enable the pilgrims from across the world to travel on the route in a more convenient way," he said. It would be completed in next two years, he claimed. Anjaiyya announced a donation of Rs five crore from Karnataka government to Deekshabhoomi.