CHENNAI: About 70-odd heads buried inside The New Indian Express’ special supplement on Mahatma Gandhi, scanning tidbits about the Father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was our first sight when we entered the college auditorium at MOP Vaishnav College for Women.
While his innumerable contributions to the nation need no recap, we were also beginning to think that Gandhi Jayanthi had become just another public holiday for most institutions. But, MOP Vaishnav College proved us wrong. The college conducted a novel quiz, ‘Gandhi Quotient’, to mark the Mahatama’s 150th birth anniversary, giving a peek into the life of the man who continues to influence the country, even after 70 years of independence.
“The idea of this quiz was to see how much we remember about our Bapu, and also to educate today’s children about his contributions and life, beyond a page in the textbook,” said Lalitha Balakrishnan, principal of the college.
Participants aged above 14 years were part of the quiz. About 76 teams across different categories like school (19), college (27), all women (13), senior citizens (3) and open (14) were part of the event. “The response for the quiz has been overwhelming, and every participant here has taken a step towards making his name triumph,” she said.
The event was conducted in association with X Quiz It. “This is the first time a city-wide Gandhi quiz has been conducted in the state,” said Arvind, the quiz master. We spoke to a 40-something Jayapal, who took part in the event along with his family. “We spent the last few days preparing for the quiz. I think it is important for us to know about the intricate life of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
Concurring, Kamalakannan, a CA said, “I am extremely glad that the quiz did not just focus on the known facts about Gandhi. It was very in-depth and this gave a chance for the younger generation to learn about his sacrifices and ideologies. For me, it was the ideal platform to relive anecdotes that my father narrated when I was a youngster.”
The first place was bagged by team Mannu Bhai MBBS — Mohammed Essa and Ilaiyabharathi T — of Madras Medical College; second place was bagged by team QMK — Aniruddh MV and Ramesh N (open category) and the third place was bagged by team Soli Adipathil Gilli — Palani and Adrian (open category). Devendra Oza, IAS, and follower of Gandhian philosophy gave away the prizes.