A book in hand and an equally invigorating coffee to go with it are ideal ingredients to brew conversations that can last an Amdavadi afternoon. And when this combines with ‘Gandhi’, the concoction is quite heady – of the intellectual kind.
If all goes as planned, Navjivan Trust will soon distil the experience that’s Mahatma Gandhi into an informal meeting place where people can meet over Gandhi and Cappuccino.
This informal setup will not only will be a getaway from the mundane, but also will serve as a melting pot of cultures, and people from all sections of society. The trust, which was founded by Gandhi in 1929, has commissioned a book store, coffee shop and an amphitheatre on over 10,000 sq ft area in its office premises on Ashram Road. Merchandise, bearing snapshots from Gandhi’s life and experience, and a museum too are in the offing.
The informal centre is aimed at bridging the gap between Gandhian organisations and the man on the street. “We have observed that people are disconnected from organisations working for Gandhi – it could be Navjivan or any other similar trust,” said Vivek Desai, managing trustee of Navjivan Trust. “Though we do not know the exact reason, this is an effort to bridge the gap,” he said.
If there is a place where youngsters, or even senior citizens, can relax and read, or simply get together and chat about different subjects, it will have people’s attention – just like any other café gets. “The advantage here would be they will have books and a natural ambience available. This may eventually boost reading habits as well as reading about Mahatma’s life and works,” said Desai.
The informal space, in totality, will see construction commence after Diwali and it is expected to be completed by March next year.