New Delhi,15 May:Special Mobile Train Exhibition ‘Azadi Express’ highlighting the glorious freedom struggle and projecting the achievements in various fields since independence concluded its countrywide seven and a half months long journey today. At a concluding function at Safdarjung Station in New Delhi, the Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Asha Swarup released a book titled “India’s Freedom Movement (1857-1947 & after) – A Journey through Azadi Express”. A 22-minute video film on Azadi Express was released by Pr. DG (M&C) Mrs. Deepak Sandhu.
Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Swarup said the Exhibition has been a great success. It received excellent response from public at large at all the 72 places where it halted for public Exhibition. At many a places, the visiting hours had to be extended in view of great public demand, she said. The Secretary further said that this Exhibition Train became one of the most talked about Exhibitions. The major objective of the Exhibition was to bring awareness about freedom struggle among the youth of the country and revive the spirit of nationalism. The Secretary said that we look forward to more such efforts in future and a similar type of Exhibition could be considered on the development of the country.
More than 80 lakh people from 22 States visited the Exhibition. The Exhibition on wheels was flagged off from New Delhi on 28th September, 2007 by Hon’ble Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Arjun Singh in the presence of Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Shri P. R. Dasmunsi on the occasion of Birth Centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
The enthusiasm of the people to witness the Mobile Exhibition was so tremendous that at many places including Porbandar, Sasbarmati, Raipur, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Bangalore, Barrackpore, Guwahati, Howrah, Gorakhpur, Kanpur and Meerut people waited for hours in the queue for their turn. On popular demand the Azadi Express had two additional halts at Arrakonnam in Tamil Nadu and Malda in West Bengal.
The entire project was estimated to cost Rs. 14.84 crores. Conceived by the National Implementation Committee to commemorate 150 years of 1857 and funded by the Ministry of Culture, the project was carried out by Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity.
Local political leaders, freedom fighters, historians, social workers, youth, students and families visited the exhibition in large numbers at all the places. Some Governors, including Shri Surjeet Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu and Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Shri Ajai Singh, PVSM, AVSM, Governor of Assam, Chief Minister of Assam, Shir Tarun Gagoi, Chief Minister of Chhattishgarh, Dr. Ramn Singh and Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Gulam Nabi Azad, Information & Broadcasting Minister, Shri P. R. Dasmunsi and several other Union Ministers, State Ministers, MPs and MLAs were among the distinguished visitors at various places during the journey of the train.