Sodepur Khadi Pratishthan located at Sodepur under Panihati Municipality, Barrackpore Sub-division, is known as Second Home of Mahatma Gandhi. It is listed in the UNESCO Heritage tentative list as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s World Circuit. It is a place of significant historical importance in shaping the destiny of India towards freedom with footsteps of Notable National Leaders and personalities like Pandit Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Moulana Azad, Sarojini Naidu, and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, G. D. Birla, Jamunalal Bajaj, Dr. P.C. Ghosh, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Many important meetings were held here. Mahatma Gandhi used to participate in the Prayer Meetings in Sodepur during his stay at Sodepur Khadi. The first audio recording of Mahatma Gandhi by All India Radio was made at Sodepur Khadi Ashram. It is a treasure event kept in the heritage archive of AIR.
This great institution was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd January, 1927. This Ashram also known as Sodepur KhadiAshram because of it was primarily a made for khadi experimentation of Mahatma Gandhi, where spinning, weaving was part of the daily life of all the inmates. The centre earns reputation for development and marketing of Cottage and Khadi products. It was set up bySalish Chandra Dasgupta under inspiration and guidance of Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy. Many important developments andinventions took place towards Goal of Self-reliance. In fact, the self-sacrificeof Satish Chandra Dasguptaa renowned scientist, having founded the Khadi Pratisthan and organizing all activities with all his money and income, may be another inspiring story to all.
It is to mention that Mahatma Gandhi used to board train from Sodepur Station butvery few people are aware of this. Thrust was given for cleanliness of the Ahsram which is also relevant in today’s India. Many books were published on Regular Basis covering wide range of interest for the benefit of the common people and village poor. Self-Reliance attainment with purity of Mind and Soul through Khadi was a major achievement. At present the Ashram is under cover of obscurity memories and remains unattended.
It is not only national heritage, it is now also a world heritage being placed in tentative list of UNESCO “Sodepur khadi Pratisthan and Ashram at Sodepur, Kolkata: Second home and base in Eastern India for Gandhi-ji to promulgate the virtues of Satyagraha”.It needs to be renovated with tourist facilitation. Awareness of local people needs also to be encouraged for development of sense of belonging to take pride of existence of such important Heritage.