THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi (KGSN) is in the midst of conceiving an innovative youth motivation programme that would also help cement inter-state bonding. The KGSN will take out a ‘Gandhi peace bus’ that will take a group of youngsters through the places travelled by Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Karnataka.
’We will put some 30 youths in a bus, carry them around the places which had been graced by the Mahatma’s presence during his eventful life and indirectly expose them to Gandhian principles,’’ said N Radhakrishnan, Working Chairman of KGSN.
At a time when the Mullaperiyar issue has scarred the harmony between two states, a peace bus might prove just the right medicine, he hopes.
While the final itinerary is yet to be approved, the KGSN plans to hold a three-day youth leadership programme prior to the journey. This will be held in the first week of May at Kanyakumari.
The Gandhi Peace Bus will kick off from scenic Kanyakumari and find its way to Thiruvananthapuram, where the youngsters will get to see places like Madhavi Mandiram at Neyyattinkara where Gandhiji had spent a day during his visit to erstwhile Travancore.
The expedition is being planned with the support of KSRTC and will ply on routes that have a connection with Gandhiji’s life and deeds, for 14 days at a stretch. Many places in Kerala, Mahe and Mangalore have been included in the route map.
According to N Radhakrishnan, the Gandhi Smrithi and Darshan Samithi (of which he was the Vice-Chairman in the late 1990s) had taken out a similar journey in 1997-98. The Gandhi Smriti Sadbhavana Jyoti Yatras were taken out to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gandhi’s martyrdom. The Gandhi flames were taken out from Porbandar, Champaran, Noakhali, Vaikom and Jallianwala Bagh as a youth mobilisation campaign then.
According to KGSN officials, the youngsters would be selected on the basis of an aptitude test which would take into consideration their interest in Gandhi and his non-violent leadership.
Those who are interested in boarding the bus can get in touch with N Nanukuttan, joint secretary of KGSN, on 0471-2321786.