Gujarat students write letters to Bapu, learn about non-violence

The initiative was launched by the trust of Sabarmati Ashram, set up by the Mahatma in 1917 on his return from South Africa, in coordination with the Gujarat government three months ago.

Published: 02nd October 2019 12:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2019 12:32 PM   |  A+A-

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is shown in the Indian parliament

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is shown in the Indian parliament (File photo | AFP)

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: In the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi, the Sabarmati Ashram here is teaching precepts of non-violence to nearly 30,000 students in Gujarat, with interesting concepts like asking them to write a 'letter to Bapu' and learning about life of the Father of the Nation.

The initiative was launched by the trust of Sabarmati Ashram, set up by the Mahatma in 1917 on his return from South Africa, in coordination with the Gujarat government three months ago.

The students, all from government-run primary schools, were recently asked to write a letter to Bapu.

The concept has given a food for thought to the young minds who have been penning down their feelings on postcards, Sabarmati Ashram's director Atul Pandya told PTI.

"They were given postcards, and asked to write whatever they would like to tell the Mahatma, and dispatch the missives to Sabarmati Ashram," he said.

"We have so far received around 15,000 postcards, and hope to receive as many more in coming days. Hundreds of postcards are coming in every day," Pandya said.

In the letters, most of the students have written about how they perceive Gandhi and relevance of non-violence in today's world, he said.

The ashram trust has put together an activity manual, which tells how non-violence can be practised in daily life.

"'Gandhi Jivan Parichay' (an introduction to the life of Mahatma Gandhi) is the first lesson for students under the project. There is no set pedagogy in teaching non- violence," he said.

Non-violence is an idea that needs to be inculcated among students at a young age, he opined.

"We tied up with the Gujarat government to teach students the virtues of non-violence, which is also a way of understanding Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy," he said.

"What I observed during my interaction with students is that even the concept of violence and non-violence differ from region to region," he said.

'Learning non-violence', as the module is called, is meant for around 30,000 students of Classes 6, 7 and 8 across 300 government primary schools, Pandya said.

Majority of the 300 schools covered under the project are located in rural areas, while around 60 are situated in urban belts - 20 each in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Bhavnagar.

'Facilitators', who are teaching the students, were themselves trained for two months, Pandya said.

On Wednesday, the ashram has organised prayer session of around 900 students, asking them to speak on what they feel about non-violence.

These children are among the 30,000 students who are being taught Gandhi's concept of non-violence, Pandya added.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp