CHENNAI: As October 2 approaches, a group of people who want to revive Gandhian values in the fast paced competitive world of today are trying in their own small way to get people to wake up to the principles of the Mahatma. Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, a Gandhian Trust and school, has come up with a way to help people understand Gandhi through a course of 121 days, from his birth anniversary to his death anniversary on January 30.
The 121 days seems like a challenge, but the Trust’s suggestions are simple – six pages of Gandhiji’s My Experiments with Truth are to be read every day at gatherings in schools and colleges, as well as residential colonies, gram sabhas and even jails. A moderator could preside over the reading and help explain. At the end of the 121 days, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya will conduct a quiz based on the book for those registered.
“The reading habit itself is greatly reduced nowadays, it has become too much to ask anyone to read the book at one stretch. So we came up with this idea of a few pages every day,” says P Maruthi, the managing trustee of the group. “A lot of things in life can be learnt just by reading his autobiography.”
The Trust suggests this 121-day programme but those who wish can do it in whatever time frame they choose to be well versed in the book by January 30.
V K S Sthananathan, secretary of the Vidyalaya, is deeply concerned about values getting lost in today’s world. “We want to make the youth understand the importance of what Gandhi stood for, and how truth should always prevail,” he says.
“Prohibition could solve many of the problems that take place today due to alcohol addiction,” he adds. The programme was undertaken at the SRS Sarvodaya Girls Hostel run by the Trust last year, and this year they wish to extend it to other organisations. “We have approached the directorate of school and college education, and slum boards in order to get more people to participate,” Maruthi says.
(Schools, colleges or any groups wishing to be a part of the venture need to register with the Gandhian Integrated Forum Trust at Ashok Nagar, or or contact P Maruthi at 9176624283/ firstname.lastname@example.org)