Padmapur: A documentary film is being made on ‘Saheed Peeth’ at Eram in Basudevpur block of Bhadrak district. The place is better known as ‘Rakta Tirtha’ (Pilgrimage of Blood) and also the second Jallianwala Bagh of India.
A total of 29 freedom fighters were shot dead September 28, 1942 at the site while they were protesting against the British rule. Pari Bewa was among those killed.
She incidentally is the first Indian woman freedom fighter to be martyred. More than 5,000 satyagrahis had assembled on that fateful day to clamour for the abolition of the British Raj. Hundreds of them were injured.
Since then, the day is celebrated as ‘Saheed Diwas’ to remember the sacrifice of these freedom fighters.
It is alleged on numerous occasions that in spite of allocation of funds by the Odisha government, there has been no effort to develop ‘Saheed Peeth’ as a site of historical importance.
The place is full of garbage and ‘development’ has only been done on paper. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India, has assigned the work to the Film Division in Mumbai to make the documentary on ‘Saheed Peeth’.
The 30-minute documentary will focus on aspects like dedication and contribution of the martyrs to the freedom struggle in India.
A crew comprising director of Film Division Abhay Kumar Mallick, cameramen S Chouhan, V Srinivasan and song and script writer M Chelapandian reached Eram, September 28 and has started shooting for the documentary.
They have been interacting with historian Ajay Panda, elderly people of the locality, social activists, common people and others to gather information about the place of historical importance.
The documentary is expected to be completed and handed over to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting by October end. The then Culture and Tourism department has accorded ‘tourist spot’ status to th place and provided funds.
The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has also sanctioned some funds for the development of Eram.