Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘Accord heritage site status to Laban house’

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111th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s visit to Shillong  from April 27

The place at Laban where Swami Vivekananda stayed in 1901. (ST file photo by Sanjib Bhattacharjee)

SHILLONG: The Ramak-rishna Mission has requested the Meghalaya government to accord the status of a ‘heritage site’ to the house in which Swami Vivekananda stayed while he was here in 1901.

“The dilapidated house at Laban where Swamiji stayed, if converted into a heritage site, could attract tourists, especially from West Bengal,” Swami Achyuteshanandaji Maharaj, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong said here on Tuesday.

“In case the Meghalaya government takes steps to declare it as a heritage spot, the Mission will come forward for any assistance,” he said, adding that a memorandum in this regard would be submitted to Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma.

The monk said that if the government wanted, it could take possession of the house, even as a property dispute regarding the site was being sorted out in the courts.

The RKM official said Swami Vivekananda considered this part of his beloved motherland “most suited” to take care of his health like a mother taking care of her ill child.

“At the request of Sir Henry Cotton, Swami Vivekananda visited Shillong and stayed for a while (April-May 1901) at the residence of the zamindar of Sunamgunj at Laban,” one of the monks at the Ramakrishna Mission said. According to Mission official, the RKM which already runs several schools and charitable health centres in the state would set up an employability and entrepreneurship training centre at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Cultural Centre here, the foundation of which would be laid on April 27 next.

2012 marks the 111th anniversary of the visit of Swami Vivekananda to this north eastern city.

Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong, is also celebrating its platinum jubilee at the Vivekananda Cultural Centre with a three-day-long programme from April 27.

To mark the occasion around 600 children, from remote villages of Meghalaya, will be adopted by Ramakrishna Mission to provide them with the basic amenities like food, education etc. (PTI & Our Reporter)

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