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Orwell memorial is a reality.

ADMIRERS of George Orwell have something to cheer about now. The dilapidated house in Bihar where the great British novelist was born more than 110 years ago no longer looks like an 'animal farm'. The Nitish Kumar government has finally metamorphosed the house and set up the George Orwell memorial at Motihari in East Champaran district to commemorate the author's links with the state.

The house where Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 when his father worked under the British Raj lay in ruins for decades with pigs and dogs roaming around before the state government woke up to the need to preserve and renovate it as a historical monument on the lines of the birthplaces of William Shakespeare and Leo Tolstoy in England and Russia, respectively.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who inaugurated the Orwell memorial through remote control from Patna at a ceremony organised by the art, culture and youth department on Friday evening, said that he had visited Orwell's By Giridhar Jha in Patna years, the state government had undertaken the renovation work in 2014 at the birthplace of the celebrated 20th- century author known for widely acclaimed novels such as 1984 and Animal Farm.

The state government had earmarked a budget of Rs 59.50 lakh for its beautification in order to attract tourists from around the world, especially from Britain.

The memorial has been built on a 2.48- acre campus and will have all amenities for the visitors.

Orwell was born while his father R. W. Blair was working for the British government as an opium agent in the rank of sub- deputy collector at Motihari. The Blairs lived in a small house on a huge campus where four huge warehouses of the British government were also located.

The Blairs returned to England barely a year after Orwell's birth but the house where his parents lived survived till his centenary birth anniversary in 2003 when it was rediscovered by his admirers.

For many years it was in possession of a government school until the state government acquired the land around it under the Bihar Ancient Monument ( Protection) Act, 1976 a few years ago.

Nitish later took a personal interest in the project asked the officials of the art and culture department to chalk out a comprehensive plan to renovate it as a big tourist attraction.

In 2004- 05 the then Indian High Commissioner to the UK, L. M. Singhvi, wanted to develop Orwell's birthplace on the lines of Stratford- upon- Avon and Yasnaya Polyana, birthplaces of William Shakespeare and Leo Tolstoy in England and Russia, respectively, which attract lakhs of tourists every year. But his dreams had remained unfulfilled because of his demise. Since then, many unsuccessful attempts were made by the local social workers to develop the place.

birthplace during his earlier trip to Motihari and directed the officials to ensure its proper development and upkeep.

"Orwell was a renowned litterateur," he said. "People's sentiments are attached to his birthplace. The art, culture and youth department has done a commendable job to develop it," he added.

After procrastinating for many CM Nitish Kumar inaugurated the memorial through remote control from Patna Orwell was a renowned litterateur. People's sentiments are attached to his birthplace.

The art, culture and youth department has done a commendable job to develop it.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 17, 2015
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