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Renovation of George Orwell’s home in Motihari begins



George Orwell’s birthplace: Motihari

George Orwell’s birthplace: Motihari

Motihari/Patna: according to the latest reports, renovation work on legendary British author George Orwell’s house in a Bihar town where he was born has already begun. “Finally, renovation of Orwell’s birthplace has started,” said East Champaran district magistrate Abhay Kumar Singh, who launched the work. Singh said the district authorities would provide all possible help to develop the crumbling, dilapidated single-storey brick house in the lake town of Motihari, district headquarters of East Champaran.

He admitted that renovation work was delayed in the last few years. “I have instructed the officials to close all entry and exit points, except the main gate of the site,” he said. The interesting part is that with the guidance of Deo Priya Mukherjee, the Motihari intelligentsia formed a George Orwell Commemorative Committee and the credit for the current action goes largely to their pressure on the government. Such initiative is rarely seen in Bihar towns and has become a great need today. Another unrelated initiative taken by the Motihari residents relates to their scenic Motijheel which remains in a sad state despite great efforts. Mukherjee said a state government agency has been entrusted with the task of renovating the house at an estimated cost of Rs.45 lakh.

Three years ago, then chief minister Nitish Kumar ordered the officials to prepare a restoration and development plan for the neglected building. He was keen to preserve Orwell’s birthplace to attract tourists. Orwell, the cult author of classics such as Animal Farm and 1984, which painted a grim Orwellian picture of a future totalitarian society where big brother is always watching, has a unique India link. But successive governments have done little to capitalise on it. The state government issued a notification under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments (Protection) Act, 1976, and declared the building a protected site four years ago.


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