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Work on Basheer memorial begins at Beypore

January 24, 2023 08:36 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:20 am IST - Kozhikode

Work on Vaikom Mohammed Basheer memorial is on at Beypore in Kozhikode.

Work on Vaikom Mohammed Basheer memorial is on at Beypore in Kozhikode. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Work on a memorial for Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, titled ‘Akashamittayi’, has finally begun at Beypore, the port town near here where the eminent writer had settled after marriage.

Though the foundation stone for the memorial had been laid in July last, follow-up steps were found lacking. The Kozhikode Corporation had given away its land for constructing the structure. A community hall on the Beypore-Cheruvannur Road has been demolished to make way for new buildings. Piling work is right now going on there. This memorial will be part of the tourism-literary circuit announced by the government to highlight the contributions of well-known writers from the State.

‘Akashamittayi’ is the name Saramma and Keshavan Nair proposed for their child in Premalekhanam, one of Basheer’s classic novels in Malayalam. In the first phase, along with the memorial, an amphi theatre, a stage, and a stall selling handicrafts have been proposed. In the second phase, a ‘Garden of Letters’, a walkway from the entrance, playing area for children, writing room, and a community hall may come up there.

Artist’s impression of ‘Akashamittayi’, the proposed memorial for Vaikom Mohammed Basheer at Beypore in Kozhikode.

Artist’s impression of ‘Akashamittayi’, the proposed memorial for Vaikom Mohammed Basheer at Beypore in Kozhikode.

A reclining chair and a gramophone, things that the writer came to be identified with, may be placed in the front yard. A statue of the writer in the front yard, a hall showcasing his works, and information on the history of Beypore are likely to be some of the attractions. The memorial has been designed by Kozhikode-based architect Vinod Cyriac. Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society has taken up contract for the construction work, which is touted to be disabled friendly and eco-friendly, said sources. The work is expected to be completed in around two years.

The government had allocated ₹50 lakh for the memorial project during the tenure of the V.S. Achuthanandan government. A panel, chaired by the then Minister for Culture M.A. Baby, was formed to oversee the work. The sum was hiked to ₹68 lakh later. The government, however, took back the money in 2018 as land could not be identified for the memorial.

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