Even 14 years after the foundation stone of the Ambedkar library building was laid by then governor Suraj Bhan, the library is yet to see the light of day. Every year on April 14 and December 6, the birth and death anniversaries of BR Ambedkar, politicians and officials gather before his bust at Chaura Maidan in Shimla, but the library doesn't seem to among the priorities of the civic body or the state government.
On Tuesday, the 124th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, his followers demanded the government should immediately begin work on constructing the library building and study centre.
Earlier in June 2001 the governor had handed over a cheque for Rs. 1 lakh to then Shimla mayor Jaini Prem for construction of the library building and study centre at Chaura Maidan. Bhan also presented him with a copy of the Indian constitution as a first contribution for the library. The municipal corporation also apprised the government about the site plans for Ambedkar Bhavan according to which a building housing a library, study centre and the zonal municipal office would be built.
However, over a decade later nothing had been done to construct a library which is making Ambedkar's followers restless. Sanjauli resident Ravi Kumar Dalit, who had been raising this issue since long, observed a day's fast at the cremation ground in Sanjauli. "I had written to several officials but the government as well as the municipal corporation is not paying heed to the issue. The foundation stone was laid by the governor in 2001 and he even gave Rs. 1 lakh to the civic body. We have demanded the government should fulfill its promise made by the governor to the state's residents," he added.
Karam Chand Bhatia, president of the Ravidas Dharam Sabha, also submitted a memorandum to the Shimla deputy commissioner demanding commencement of construction work on the library.