Nellore: The 101 years old Pinakini Satyagraha Gandhi Ashram inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi himself on April 7, 1921 at Pallipadu near Nellore stands as testimony to the role of several stalwarts of Nellore in the Freedom struggle.
The Ashram run by Indian Red Cross Society is celebrating the Azaadi Ki Amruth Mahotsav in a grand manner.
As part of Mahotsav, a 13 kms long heritage walk was organised from the Gandhi statue to Gandhi Ashram on Thursday.
Collector KVN Chakradhar Babu and Red Cross local unit Chairman P. Chandrasekhar Reddy also took part in the colourful event apart from scores of local people and officials.
Known as Sabarmati of South, Pinakini Satyagraha Ashram was built in 22 acres of land on the banks of River Pennar.
Mahatma made 3 visits to Nellore in 1921, 1929 and 1933 and the people of Nellore donated liberally to handloom fund and Harijan fund then.
However, the safety of the heritage site is under threat because of erosion of the flood banks of Penna river abutting the Ashram during floods every year.
Ashram officials claim that nearly 6 acres of the land was submerged in the river due to erosion while adding that Rustumji Bhavan built in 1921 at the Ashram is also under threat during floods.
Co-convener of the Ashram, N Ravindra Reddy underlined the need to strengthen the flood banks to prevent erosion while reminding that entire area is sandy soil.
Reacting to a question on several buildings constructed by Tourism department for Gandhi Digital Museum, Digital Library, Amphitheatre and Food Court at the Ashram lying idle, he said they are looking for donors to fund the equipment.
He said the Digital Museum is certain to attract people to the Ashram in large numbers.
When contacted Collector KVN Chakradhar Babu said they have decided to build a retention wall on the banks of Penna river to protect Gandhi Ashram from floods and the proposals have been sent to both State and Central Governments for fund allocation.
The proposal includes equipment for Digital Museum, Library and Amphitheatre, Collector told this newspaper.
Meanwhile, the former Chairman of IRCS AV Subhramanyam, who was instrumental in giving a facelift to Gandhi Ashram said Amphi theatre can be given for marriage functions to generate revenue for the Ashram.