By Okram Bimol
IMPHAL, April 7: The hectic preparations from the side of the state government in connection with the proposed visit of the President of the country on April 15 at the state capital to unveil the 60th Anniversary monolith at Adimjati Siksha Ashram has brought the Ashram into the limelight.
In preparation of the high profile visit, both the state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and his deputy, Gaikhangam have already made their inspection visits to the Ashram in the past fortnight but what is interesting is the journey of the Ashram from its past till its` present state.
Adimjati Siksha Ashram was established on March 23, 1952 at Marwari Dharamshala Imphal under the Bharatiya Adimjati Sewak Sangh, New Delhi by Deshbandhu Adhikari.
According to a member of the Imphal branch of the ashram, the Ashram aiming at providing unique service to the cause of education by establishing ashram schools and hostels with an objective to play a significant role in the welfare and development of the tribal community in Manipur in particular and the others in general.
The state government granted an area of land measuring 27 bighas and 9 kathas on January 9, 1953 at Chingmeirong.
Speaking to IFP during a brief interaction at the complex of the Ashram, a member of the Ashram on condition of anonymity said the Adimjati Siksha Ashram School was merged with the Lilashing Khongnangkhong Government High School some seven-eight years back.
He elaborated that this was due to increasing number of private schools in the surrounding locality of Chingmeirong with the school witnessing a steep decrease in the number of students.
At present, the buildings inside the Ashram complex are being used as hostels.
The member elaborated that after the school was shifted from the complex, the Ashram has began to run a 150 capacity girl hostel under its administration.
During the construction of the Khuman Lampak sports complex in the 1990’s, the government approached the Ashram with the proposal to shift a Tribal boys’ hostel inside the Ashram campus until the state found a place for the hostel following which, the hostel would shifted into the campus, he said.
However the hostel is yet to be shifted outside the hostel. He lamented that the hostel has denied appeals from the ashram to come under its administration or shift outside.
The government also opened the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Manipur campus inside the ashram as its temporary campus. He said the government has assured that the University will be shifted in another three-four years by which the construction of the real campus of the University is expected to be completed.
The President, Pranab Mukerjee will unveil a monolith on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Ashram and will probably go back impressed with the Ashram complex, unaware that it is hosting various other institutions.