LONDON: Maharashtra government has completed the acquisition of a 3.1-million pound three-storey home in London where Dr B R Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution, lived as a student in the 1920s and steps will be will initiated soon to convert it into a memorial.
"I am delighted that Raj Kumar Badole, Minister for Social Justice and Special Assistance at Government of Maharashtra, via the High Commission of India in London, has completed the purchase of the 2,050 sq ft house on September 24, 2015 at 10 King Henry's Road, in northwest London," said Santosh Dass, President of the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK (FABO).
The home will now be transformed into a memorial after essential repair and renovation work.
"This is wonderful day for Ambedkarites in London and around the world. This is very important to Ambedkarites because it is in this house Dr Ambedkar enriched his academic studies and strengthened his resolve to challenge the impact of the caste system and British rule in India," Dass said.
"It was also during this time that India's government was struggling with the falling value of the Indian Rupee – the backdrop to his thesis 'The Problem of the Rupee: Its origin and its solution'," he said.
"Very soon generations of Indians in the UK and visitors studying, interested or inspired by Dr Ambedkar's key roles in furthering social justice, human rights and equal treatment issues will be able to visit the inside of the house," he added.
"Dr Ambedkar is a figure on par with William Wilberforce and Dr Martin Luther King. There is a lot of work to do on the house before it can be opened to visitors. It would be wonderful if it could be ready for visitors in time for Babasahab's 125th Birth Anniversary in 2016," Dass said.
The 2,050 square feet residential property in London went up for sale through an estate agent last year.
Ambedkar, who died in 1956 aged 65, was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1990.