Tricolour gifted by Mahatma Gandhi preserved with utmost care by Mussoorie duo
The doctor duo has made it a point to preserve the Khadi Tricolour that was gifted to them by a Delhi-based family, which was passed down to them directly from Mahatma Gandhi
The success of the central government’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, which kicked off on August 13 in the run up to India’s 76th Independence Day two days later, has left many concerned about the disposal and preservation of the flags that were unfurled in households.
But it has not been a matter of concern for a doctor duo, who has made it a point to preserve the Khadi Tricolour that was gifted to them by a Delhi-based family, which was passed down to them directly from Mahatma Gandhi.
The prized gift became part of their lives when they were Gandhi’s ardent followers and instrumental in conducting his prayer meetings whenever he visited Mussoorie.
Venu and Sunil Sanon, philanthropists and medical practitioners, and are involved in running medical camps in villages near Mussoorie, are proud to have preserved the cherished gift from Mahatma Gandhi passed on to them by the family of Lala Mukund Lal and Jaiprakash Agarwal who purchased Sylverton Estate in October 1942, the same property where Gandhi held his prayer meetings and addressed people during his stay in 1946.
Reminiscing the events, Sunil Sanon said, “I provided medical assistance to the family of Jaiprakash Agarwal, an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, who had bought Sylverton Estate in Mussoorie. After Agarwal’s death on May 1971, his wife Swaraj Devi handed me over a Khadi national flag gifted to her husband by Mahatma Gandhi in 1947-48 in Delhi.”
“This is a surprise gift as you have a patriotic bent of mind and deep respect for the Tricolour and I am sure that you will keep it safe with full honour, insisted Swaraj Devi while handing me over the national flag in 1994,” he said.
Earlier, we used to hoist the flag on Independence Day and Republic Day, but we were delighted to hoist this precious flag at home this year because of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’, Venu Sanon said.
Gopal Bhardwaj, a historian from Mussoorie said, “Mahatma Gandhi visited Mussoorie in 1929 and in 1946. “He stayed at Birla House from May 28-June 8 in 1946, often held prayers at Sylverton hotel, addressed the people of Mussoorie and met his ardent followers from Delhi who came to meet him in Mussoorie.”
Sunil noted that the “Har Ghar Tiranga campaign is a historic step and a way to remind the countrymen about the sacrifices made by countless people, especially when we are celebrating 75 years of our Independence”.
“After every important event, we make it a point to fold the national flag in the way defined in the flag code of India and keep it in a folder in our safe, only to be taken out next year,” said the duo.
Vijay Prakash, a resident of Mussoorie, said, “It is our duty to preserve the national flag after its use in such a way that it can be utilised next year during events of national importance. The way the flag is preserved by the Sanons is a live example that if one has a patriotic zeal, it can be done with full honour.”
Meanwhile, the Mussoorie municipal board has started collecting national flags that were unfurled by the business community at their units in line with guidelines in the flag code of India.
“All the flags from the shops in the town have been collected and we are storing them in the municipal board compound with utmost respect and as per the guidelines of the government. We have urged residents in all wards to store the national flag in a safe place,” UD Tiwari, executive officer of the Mussoorie municipal board, said.