President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone for Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Cultural Centre in Lucknow on Tuesday and lauded the Uttar Pradesh government for working towards the welfare of people.
“Baba Saheb (Dr BR Ambedkar) has a special relationship with Lucknow. Apart from spending a lot of time in Lucknow, he used to adore the cultural heritage of the city. I also appreciate the initiative of the UP government to establish this memorial in Lucknow,” said Kovind in his address.
Referring to the ideals of Ambedkar, President Kovind said he always worked towards empowering women and providing them equal rights in the society. “Ambedkar was a visionary thinker. He was not only an educationist, economist, jurist, politician, journalist, sociologist and social reformer, he has also made invaluable contributions in the fields of culture, religion and spirituality."
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed the President and First Lady Savita Kovind at Lok Bhawan. Governor Anandiben Patel, deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and tourism and cultural affairs minister Neelkanth Tiwari and MLC Swatantra Dev Singh also attended the event.
On the occasion, Adityanath said, “We all remember Baba Bhim Rao as the creator of the constitution. Baba Ambedkar’s name will be taken with full respect not only in India but wherever justice comes for the downtrodden and the backward. It is an important day today as on the same day 93 years back, Baba Saheb started the weekly newspaper Samta on June 29,1928. He has always worked for the betterment of the Indian society. This state of the art museum and cultural centre will carry forward the memories and principles of Baba Saheb.”
The President was in Lucknow on a two-day visit. He arrived in the state capital from Kanpur on Monday morning and left for Delhi on Tuesday evening.
Last week, the UP cabinet had approved a proposal for the construction of a cultural centre at Aishbagh. The memorial will be built at 5493.52 sq meter Nazul land in front Aishbagh Eidgah and have a 25-ft high statue of Dr Ambedkar. The centre, which will cost around ₹45 crore, will also have an auditorium to house 750 people, a library, a research centre, a picture gallery, a museum and a multi-purpose convention centre. Besides, it will have a cafeteria, dormitory and other facilities. The cultural department is likely to start the construction work soon.