Lucknow: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial and Cultural Centre in Lucknow’s Aishbagh, virtually from the Lok Bhawan here.
An urn containing the ashes of the Dalit icon will be placed in the memorial and will be open for public viewing.
Addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone, the President said that Ambedkar wanted a society and a government that would treat everyone equally and work for the welfare of all.
“It is a pleasant coincident that we are laying the foundation of the Ambedkar cultural centre on a day when Ambedkar had launched ‘Samta’, a publication 93 years ago that aimed at ensuring equality for all. He knew that unless everyone was treated equally, a country could not progress,” he said.
The President lauded the Yogi Adityanath government for following this principle and ensuring equal treatment for all.
Meanwhile, the Ambedkar Cultural Centre will come up in an area of 1.34 acres in Aishbagh area.
A 25 feet high statue of Ambedkar will also be constructed which will be placed on a 20 feet high pedestal.
“The project is expected to cost around Rs 50 crores and, at least, a part of it, specifically the area where the statue will come up, should be ready by Ambedkar’s death anniversary on December 6,” said a government spokesperson.
The centre will consist of a library, museum and auditorium with a seating capacity of 750. It will be a hub of cultural activities, including seminars, plays.
Students can visit it for research purposes. The library is likely to have a vast stock of digitalized literature, including books on Ambedkar and his own writings.
Earlier, chief minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed the president with an ‘angavastam’ and a memento.