Anna's birthplace to be redeveloped a la Ralegansiddhi

Sep 08, 2011, 07:07 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Anna Hazare's birthplace Bhingar is set to get a facelift. It will be developed like Ralegansiddhi, where Hazare now lives

Anna Hazare's birthplace Bhingar is set to get a facelift. It will be developed like Ralegansiddhi, where Hazare now lives.

Local groups, NGOs and members of the team that was with him during his recent fight for the Jan Lokpal bill have decided to redevelop the social activist's village of birth.

Hazare spent the first six years of his life in Bhingar village, which is 55 km from Ralegansiddhi in Ahmednagar district.

The house in Bhingar where Anna Hazare was born. There is a
proposal to put up a plaque saying the social activist was born there

Hazare is more famous for his social work that turned Ralegansiddhi around and made it a model village of prosperity and peace, while the place where he was born is still not known to many of his followers.

"Hazare was the eldest son of Baburao and Laxmibai, who were farmers. Hazare joined the army only because of his grandfather, who was at Bhingnagar near Bhingar village," said Sudarshan Bhatiya, the author of Hazare's biography.
"He was in the village till the age of six, when he left for Mumbai with his aunt for his school education in Dadar."

Suresh Pathare, PA to Hazare, said his Delhi agitation teammates Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan would be visiting Ralegansiddhi to decide the future course of action concerning the Lok Janpal bill.
He said the trio would also be visiting Bhingar while here. "We are also installing a historic blue plaque at Hazare's home.
His house at Bhingar is in bad shape and it shall also be redeveloped with the local activists who are supporting Hazare," Pathare said.

Jaisingh Mapari, sarpanch of Ralegansiddhi, said: "Bhingar came into focus when local social activists brought a symbolic torch from Bhingar to Ralegansiddhi and it was lit for 13 days during Hazare's indefinite hunger strike at Ramleela Ground in Delhi. We are ready to contribute our share to develop Anna's birthplace."

Many tourists and visitors who come to Ralegansiddhi also go to Bhingar and visit Hazare's house.

"Many documentary makers from India and aboard have been visiting Bhingar village," Mapari said. Social workers from Jammu and Kashmir and Jaipur in Rajasthan have also visited Bhingar," Marpari said.

Today, Hazare's childhood home in Bhingar is called Laxmi and is no longer with the family. "Hazare's birthplace in Bhingar village is no longer with the family.
It has been sold to the Sonkale family," said Dr Girish Kulkarni, president, Snehalaya, an NGO from Ahmadnagar.
"Our first priority is to put up a blue plaque at Sonkale's house saying its is the place where Anna Hazare was born on June 5, 1938."

No CCTV for Anna
THOUGH the Centre and the state government recently showed deep concern over Anna Hazare's safety and wanted to give him Z-category security, there is not a single CCTV camera where Hazare lives, said Sanjay Pathade, a local schoolteacher. "Thousands of people visits Ralegansiddhi everyday to meet Hazare and there
is no systematic security system anywhere in the village," he said.

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