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Azadi Express is flagged off
September 28, 2007 14:23 IST
Painted in the colours of the Tricolour, Azadi Express, a mobile train exhibition on the freedom struggle began its journey to different parts of the country from the capital on Friday.
The train, which was flagged off by Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh [Images] from the Safdarjang Railway station here, would be stationed at each of the 70 destinations for two to five days.
The concept of the train was formulated by a national committee, set up to organise events to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1857 war of independence.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi [Images] had formed the committee to reach out the message of independence struggle across the country. The Azadi Express is a result of that," Singh said.
"The train exhibits the entire freedom struggle and will tell people across the country how we got out freedom and how to protect it," he said.
Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi, who was also part of the committee, said the train would cover 70 stations and demands were being made for more.
The train exhibition is part of the celebrations of the 150 years of 1857, 60 years of Independence and the birth centenary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
The leaders also paid floral tributes to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary on Friday.
The train will journey through the country for eight months and the sojourn would conclude on May 15, 2008.
The exhibition, in 11-coach train, depicts the 150 years of the country's history through photographs, cutouts and videos.
They carry exhibits under various themes, such as 'Company Raj', 'The Lightning', 'Fire Spreads', 'British Takeover', 'National Awakening', 'Partition of Bengal', 'Gandhiji's Emergence on the Scene' and 'Quit India'.
Books, cards and mementos on 1857 and freedom struggle themes will be available at special sale counters in the exhibition.
A group of volunteers from the Nehru Yuva [Images] Kendra would travel on the train for its upkeep and maintenance throughout its journey.