Houston Eternal Gandhi Museum gets £353,708 grant from Texas county
Representational Image (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
THE Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston (EGMH) has received a grant of $475,000 (£353,708) from Fort Bend County in Texas under the American Rescue Plan and it would make a major contribution towards completing the construction of the first museum in the United States dedicated to preserve and promote Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy and ideals.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the museum was done on July 3 with Texas’s Democratic Congressman Al Green being the chief guest and a number of dignitaries and members of Houston’s local community also present.
The museum is expected to open sometime in 2023.
“The Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston is delighted and truly grateful to the Fort Bend County Commissioners’ court for approving this grant,” volunteer, trustee and co-founder Atul B Kothari said.
The grant was announced during a press conference on Wednesday (22) evening by Fort Bend County judge of Indian-origin KP George, along with the county commissioners.
“Indian-American Fort Bend County judge KP George has offered unflinching support to the activities of EGMH from day one, when he was invited to the memorial service for Mahatma Gandhi in February 2019 at the Unity of Houston. This grant will go a long way in bringing to life the first-ever museum in the US dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi,” Kothari said.
EGMH has acquired three acres in southwest Houston to house the museum.
While the proposed budget for construction is $6.5 million (£4.8 million), the proceeds from the capital campaign have touched $2.9 million (£2.1 million) and the board of trustees committing another $1.1 million (£819,115). The trust has also secured another $0.8 million (£595,720) from private donor commitments. Recently, the Houston Endowment Foundation also awarded a capital grant of $500,000 (£372,325).
A concerted fundraising campaign is currently underway through foundations, corporations and private donors to raise the remaining fund.
To initiate the project, the EGMH board has also engaged with a reputed museum consultant with a Smithsonian background.
The museum will include exhibits and interpretations that highlight the mission and vision of the legendary freedom fighter.
“The museum will invite Houston and school children from surrounding areas for a field trip for free. The EGMH will be an interactive museum divided into three sections: ‘His Journey’ (Mahatma Gandhi’s Life), ‘Our Journey’ (Impact of Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of nonviolent conflict resolution in the world featuring, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and others around the world, and finally ‘My Journey’ where each visitor will be asked to make a commitment to make the community a better place to live in,” Kothari said.