George Orwell's birthplace lies in tatters, encroached

 Even as the world recalls his literary works like 'Animal Farm' and '1984' among others on his 62nd death anniversary today, British author George Orwell's birthplace in Motihari town in East Champaran district lies in tatters and encroached by local people.

The house where Orwell was born on June 25, 1903 and spent his infant days till his parents migrated to England next year, vividly tell the story of neglect as thick vegetation has mushroomed in the six-acre premises.

The walls surrounding the house have been covered with piles of loose bricks, many of which have been taken away by the locals for their use.

The vast open field in the walled structure where some dilapidate godowns (used during the British rule for storage of opium cultivated at the instruction of the colonial rulers) stand in dilapidated condition and the entire area is filled with garbage even as some unauthorised huts have sprung up.

All that is left to the memory of the legendary British author is his bust made of white stone and the foundation stone outside the gate of his house which get a symbolic facelift to mark his birth and death anniversaries.

The Rural Works Department (RWD) executive engineer Harendra Pratap said that Orwell's house has been lying in a dilapidated state and the premises was encroached by local people.

"We are unable to construct a proposed second gate at the structure due to encroachment by the locals," he told PTI.

The Motihari Nagar Parishad Prakash Asthana also said that Orwell's house has been lying in bad shape, but claimed that the renovation of the house will begin soon upon release of funds by the state government.

There is definitely a project underway to renovate the house and give it a facelift as larger plan to development the British litterateurs house as a tourist destination, he said.
Bihar, Art, Culture and Youth Affairs Minister Sukhda Pandey said that her department had released Rs 32.70 lakh to the district administration for beautification of Orwell's memorial structure and construction of road, drainage and boundary wall sometime back and utilisation report sought.

She said that a reminder will be issued soon to the district administration in this regard.
On the encroachment in the British author's house and the premises being used for residence by school teacher, Pandey said that she has also received complaints in this regard on which she has sought a report from the district magistrate.

Maintaining that Orwell's house was a treasure of Bihar, the Art, Culture and Youth Affairs Minister said that all steps will be taken for protection and development of the historical and monumental structure which, she said, will be developed as a tourist destination. 

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