Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister for Social Justice Ramdas Athavale joined thousand others in paying tributes to BR Ambedkar on his 61st death anniversary. Thousands of followers of the architect of the Constitution assembled at the rain-soaked memorial Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai to pay their tributes.
The chief minister while addressing the “abhivadan rally” (salute rally) at Chaityabhoomi, earlier this morning, said the work on Ambedkar’s memorial at the Indu Mill land will start in a month. Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao also paid tributes to Ambedkar at Chaityabhoomi.
The followers who had converged at the memorial from Maharashtra and various parts of the country raised slogans like ‘Jai Bheem’ and ‘Babasaheb amar rahe’. Making sure that the rain does not become a dampener for the followers, both civic administration and the police sprung into action.
In view of the heavy rush every year on the Dalit icon’s death anniversary, special buses were operated between Dadar and Shivaji Park, a BEST official said. He added that food stalls were also put up to distribute free snacks at the venue. Temporary sheds, mobile toilets, and six medical stalls were installed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at Shivaji Park, Dadar station, Rajgriha (Ambedkar’s residence) and Kurla terminus. BMC, this year, also made arrangements for accommodation of the visitors at 70 civic schools in the city.
Meanwhile, floral tributes were also offered at Mantralya and the State Secretariat. Expressing gratitude towards the leader, PM Modi tweeted, “I bow to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on his Mahaparinirvan Diwas.” He along with President Ram Nath Kovind, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and others paid floral tributes to the leader on his Mahaparinirvan Diwas at Parliament House Lawns in New Delhi.
Earlier this month, the Maharashtra government had directed schools and junior colleges in the state to observe November 7 as ‘Student’s Day’, as the date coincides with Dr. B R Ambedkar’s entry into school education 117 years back in 1900. A government resolution passed by the state education and sports department on October 27, in this regard, hailed Dr. Ambedkar’s enrolment in school as ‘the dawn of a new era’.
(with inputs from PTI)