ORWELL MOTIHARI MUSEUM PROGRESS
To Orwell Today,
re: SHRINE TO ORWELL and ORWELL MUSEUM IN INDIA
No work has been taken up on the house after the initial meeting.
At that time Dr Anita Gupta, a member of the Association of British Scholars from Jamshedpur, had been asked to acquire any of Orwell's personal effects for the project:
Dr Anita Gupta, Association of British Scholars, Jamshedpuri Chapter
c/o Ahaana Communications, D II, Satyam Enclave Road No 7 Extension
Sonari, Jamsehdpur 831011, Jharkhand
Telephone No: 0657-2304053, Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally I have talked with Dr. Gupta. This lady is a mine of information. She will contact Mr. Mukherjee.
I am afraid that Motihari is the pits. It is no Stratford upon Aavon.
All is not well with Orwell's house
Leave alone a hotel, there does not seem to be a lodge, a guest house or a government rest house.
Bihar Hotels and Tourist Bungalows
There is no hotel worth the name. People usually go to Patna and come back the same day.
Distance to Motihari from:
1. Agra - 831 Km
2. Dehli - 965 Km
3. Patna (capital of Bihar) - 298 Km
4. Calcutta (capital of Bengal) - 736 km
5. Lucknow - 468 Km (capital of Uttar Pradesh in which the Pioneer Newspaper is where Orwell was going tio work but never did)
INDIA, ORWELL, JFK & CHINA
A couple of months back there was another meeting which was attended by the Times of India but no progress has been made on the restoration of the house.
Trust this answers all your queries.
Yes, well no one ever said it was going to be easy to establish a museum for Orwell in Motihari, the place of his birth. Afterall, there isn't even a museum for him in London or anywhere else in England and it's not for lack of money or artifacts to fill it with. At least in India people are TRYING to get it off the ground, and under very difficult circumstances.
After reading the article you sent about all not being well in Orwell's house it is obvious that Motihari is a poverty-stricken area whose people are desperate.
I agree with you, therefore, that the place for tourists to stay would be in Patna with a day-trip to Motihari. If a person set off early in the morning they could be there and back by nightfall if connections worked out. Admittedly, it's a 5-hour bus trip over bumpy roads both ways but sometimes the roads we travel in life are rough.
Maybe in the future a wealthy philanthropist with a vision of freedom for mankind will donate the money required to fix up the house of Orwell's birth. And it would be a good idea if the government of India took some pride in being the birthland of England's greatest writer of the 20th century and donated the house for purposes of being restored and made into a museum and shrine. No doubt an alternative house could be found for the school teacher who is presently living there.
Thank you for help in answering the questions asked by the writer of the Rough Guide to India.
I'm sure there will be dedicated fans making the pilgrimage to Orwell's place of birth.
All the best,
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~