Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti
Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) was formed in September 1984 by the merger of Gandhi Darshan at Rajghat and Gandhi Smriti, at 5, Tees January Marg as an autonomous body, and is functioning under the constructive advice and financial support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The Prime Minister of India is its Chairperson and it has a nominated body of senior Gandhians and representatives of various government departments to guide it in its activities. The basic aim and objective of the Samiti is to propagate the life, mission and thought of Mahatma Gandhi through various socio-educational and cultural programmes....
It has two campuses:
(a) Gandhi Smriti
Gandhi Smriti, housed in the Old Birla House on 5, Tees January Marg, New Delhi, is the sacred place where Mahatma Gandhi's epic Life ended on 30 January 1948. Mahatma Gandhi had lived in this house from 9 September 1947 to 30 January 1948. Thus, the hallowed house treasures many memories of the last 144 days of his life. The Old Birla House was acquired by the Government of India in 1971 and was converted into a National Memorial of the Father of the Nation and was opened to the public on August 15, 1973.
The preserves include the room where Mahatma Gandhi lived and the prayer ground where he held a mass congregation every evening. It was here where assassin’s bullets felled Gandhiji. The building and the landscape have been preserved as they were in those days.
The Memorial consists of: (a) Visual Aspects to perpetuate the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and the noble ideals he represented, (b) Educative Aspects to focus concentrated attention on certain values of life that made Gandhi a Mahatma, and (c) Service Aspects to introduce activities in order to subserve certain felt needs.
On display in the Museum are photographs, sculptures, paintings, frescos, inscriptions on rocks and relics pertaining to the years Mahatma Gandhi spent here. The meagre personal effects of Gandhiji too are carefully preserved.
A larger than life statue of Mahatma Gandhi, with a boy and a girl holding a dove in their hands standing on either side, emerging out of the globe, symbolising his universal concern for the poor and the deprived, welcomes the visitor at the main entrance of the Gandhi Smriti. It is the work of the renowned sculptor Sri Ram Sutar. The legend at the base of the sculpture says, "My Life is My Message".
A Martyr's Column stands at the spot where the Father of the Nation was assassinated, commemorating the Martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi as the embodiment of all the sufferings and sacrifices that characterised the long struggle for India's Freedom.
(b) International Centre of Gandhian Studies and Research
The second campus is situated adjacent to the Mahatma Gandhi Samadhi at Rajghat. The sprawling thirty-six acre campus came into existence in 1969 to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi. An International Gandhi Darshan Exhibition was housed to commemorate the occasion. Divided into six huge pavilions spread across the campus, it sought to bring alive the eternal message of the Mahatma “My Life is My Message”. The founding fathers envisaged that in due course of time it would evolve into an educational centre of international stature.
This dream came true when in 1994, during the 125th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji; the campus was converted into an International Centre of Gandhian Studies and Research (ICGSR). The Centre offers research and guidance facilities to scholars from India and abroad, documentation of various peace initiatives and seeks to provide various inputs on Gandhi and allied subjects at one place. At present the Centre provides a comprehensive exhibition on Gandhi, conference halls, camping facilities for major national and international meets, a library, children's corner, photo unit and a publications division.
The Samiti also publishes a journal, titled Anasakti Darshan.