Azadi Express rolls on, celebrating India’s freedom struggle

New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) Blazing in the colours of the tricolour, Azadi Express, a mobile train exhibition capturing defining moments in India’s freedom struggle, including the first war of independence in 1857, began its journey Friday to different parts of the country.

The train, flagged off by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh from the Safdarjang railway station here, would first arrive in Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation, on his 138th birth anniversary Oct 2.

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The train will halt at each of the 70 destinations associated with the freedom struggle for two to five days.

The last leg of the journey includes a trip from Meerut to Delhi that ends May 15 next year, coinciding with the historic march to Delhi by freedom fighters in 1857.

The concept of the mobile train exhibition was formulated by a national committee, set up to organise events to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1857 war of independence, 60 years of independence and the birth centenary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi had formed the committee to send the message of the independence struggle across the country.

“The train exhibits the entire freedom struggle and will tell people across the country how we got our freedom and how to protect it,” Arjun Singh said.

“The sacrifices of the freedom fighters who won us freedom and those at our borders who are making sacrifices even today to protect our hard earned freedom should always be borne in mind,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi.

Dasmunsi also exhorted the younger generation to revive the spirit of patriotism and follow the ideals of martyrs like Bhagat Singh.

The mobile train exhibition portrays key moments in India’s freedom struggle through panels, artistic sketches, graphics, dioramas, projection screen and audio system. The exhibition is being supervised by over 300 volunteers drawn from Nehru Yuvak Kendra, Gandhi Smriti and field exhibition officers of the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity.