This is a saga of destruction. Of a beautiful creation. Of a dream dreamt, nurtured and fulfilled through sheer hard work of scores of Hindu and Muslim youth from across India, over the years. Since 2004 to be precise.
An innovative, much-admired and multipurpose Park – we called AUDA MUSKAAN – devoted to promoting communal harmony, healthy low-cost adventure, scientific temper and cultural exchanges lies in ruins as we write this.
Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority [AUDA] had allotted a 2,500 SqMtr low-lying plot of land to SPRAT at the communally sensitive junction of Juhapura and Vejalpur in Ahmedabad. On this was built the Park that cheered and empowered over 1.5 million Muslims and Hindus since.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation [AMC] that inherited it from AUDA, mercilessly razed the Park to the ground, using bulldozers and JCBs, without giving SPRAT the 5 weeks it sought after slogging for 15 years, to dismantle and move its massive infrastructure. Gone with it are its science promoting play equipment, 200+ seat auditorium, a lot of digital and physical gadgets and other valuables. And of course, many of our dreams.
An overzealous and unaccountable bureaucracy is all we can blame. We know that Mr Modi’s leaders cannot endorse, much less order, such senseless destruction of national property. Who in his right mind will snatch the smiles from the parched lips of fellow Indians?
We were desperately seeking AMC’s help to remove these precious assets to our upcoming House of Reason [TARKIK SADAN], 35 KMs near Ahmedabad, and to return AMC’s plot of land. But neither they facilitated this, nor gave us the time. This has completely jeopardized our plans for building a Doing-Science-Lab there by reusing much of this Park’s assets, and plunged us into despair.
A full press release for social media – and the photo gallery below it – will inform you of the fall of yet another pillar of our nation’s edifice. Please download it here: