British couple wants to renovate Orwell’s Bihar house

April 25th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by admin  


Patna, April 25 (IANS) A British couple has offered to renovate the ancestral Bihar house of George Orwell - the legendary author of cult classics like “Animal Farm” and “1984″ - and develop it as a tourist attraction. London-based retired English professor Clive Collins and his wife Monica Collins have written to the district magistrate in Motihari as well as the local Rotary Club, offering help.

Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in Motihari district, near the Nepal border. His father Richard Blair worked as an agent of the opium department of the Indian Civil Service during British rule.

The one-storey house where Orwell spent his childhood has been lying neglected for decades. The crumbling building is now used as refuge by stray animals and anti-social elements. A small portion was taken over by the state government and a schoolteacher now lives there.

“Moved by reports of Orwell’s dilapidated house, the British couple has decided to renovate it and develop it as a tourist spot,” Debapriya Mukherjee, district chairman of the Rotary Club, told IANS on phone.

The couple has also assured the Rotary Club that they will launch a campaign to spread awareness about Orwell and his works in Britain, Mukherjee added.

About four years ago the Heritage Foundation of India announced that it would renovate Orwell’s house. However, no progress was made.

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