THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: School children have received an opportunity to retrace Gandhi’s footsteps, literally. As part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Gandhi’s return from South Africa to India, Selected students will be flown to South Africa.
The celebration is being organised by Gandhi Peace Mission with the support of Tourfed, Symphony TV and other Gandhian organisations. It will be kicked off on October 2 and will conclude by November 14. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the event and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala will preside over.
Apart from the South Africa visit, various other programmes have been planned. A 5000-strong choir led by singer K J Yesudas will perform at Central Stadium on October 2.
The children will earn their ticket through a test which assesses their grasp of Gandhi’s life, history and general knowledge. The test will be conducted at three centres-Thiruvananthapuram, Erankulam and Kozhikode. Twelve children will be chosen.
They will get to visit Durban, Phoenix Ashram, Pietermaritzburg, Tolstoy Farm, Johannesburg and Pretoria. They will be part of a thirty-member team, which will set out on November 14. Upon their return, the team will also visit Rajghat and various Gandhi memorials in the country. They will also be visiting the President’s estate.
This is also the 70th anniversary of Gandhi’s Naokhali pilgrimage, according to Gandhi Peace Mission Chief Coordinator N Radhakrishnan. Young people will lead the way in conducting the celebrations, he said at a conference at Press Club in Thiruvananthapuram.
Tourfed will start collecting data for Comprehensive Gandhi Resource Mapping, a project which plans to bring together everything about Gandhi. The places Gandhi visited, the people whom he met, the roads and places in his name will all be part of this project.