While writing on Ponaka Kanakamma, a freedom fighter, I came to know about the Gandhi Ashram in Nellore. The Pinakini Satyagraha Ashramam is a living memory of Mahatma Gandhi’s association with Nellore. It was established on the bank of river Penna. It has made a significant contribution to the National Freedom Struggle lead by Gandhiji.
This Ashramam is known as Pallipadu Gandhi Ashramam. It is the first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh and stands second only to Gandhiji’s Ashramam at Sabarmathi at the National Level. The Ashramam was inaugurated on 7-feb-1921 by Gandhiji himself.
Initially it started in thatched huts on the bank of river Penna. On the suggestion of Gandhiji an amount of Rs. 10,000/- was extended as financial help by the All India Congress Committee and 22 acres of land was secured. The living and teaching in the Ashramam started on the principles of truth, non-violence. Many programmes were taken up such as Production of Khadhi, Eradication of untouchability, propagation of Hindi as the national language, Naturopathy, Equality of all religions, and Adult Education.
The Ashramam is now under the Indian Red Cross Society Nellore branch. Indian Red Cross Society Nellore District branch intends to renovate the old building and make it a Tourist Centre for the new generation.