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As we make inroads towards a New India, the relevance of ideas, values and teachings upheld by Mahatma Gandhi become much more important. His legacy stands as a guiding force for generations to come. In this spirit, India is commemorating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at international, national and local levels.
Recently MyGov organised a Discussion Forum seeking suggestions and ideas to commemorate the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, as to how will the citizens put Bapu’s thoughts into action in their home, their community and society at large and make #Bapu150 a mass movement.
Events like global cycling, vegetarian food festival, promotion of ‘Khadi’ in India and abroad as an idea and a healthy choice rather than just cloth, along with projection of Bapu’s images on famous buildings across the globe are in the pipeline. A series of talks titled ‘Satya Varta’ had been organised to discuss as to how Mahatma Gandhi is still influencing and impacting lives.
Relevance of Gandhiji’s thoughts in Today’s Times
Today the world is struggling to find concrete solutions to greed, violence, corruption and extreme use of our limited resources. Answers to a lot of these problems lie in Gandhiji’s teachings, making them more valuable than ever. Men and women all round the world, irrespective of their caste, creed, age or religion are inspired by Bapu’s teachings especially centred around fighting inequality, justice and oppression. With violence on a high, the idea of ‘Ahimsa’ and the reasoning behind it serve as a saviour to our society. His ideas of simple living and inclusive growth talk of a holistic rural development. Gandhiji always rooted for the well-being of every man, more so for poverty stricken. His advice to policy makers used to be that whenever he or she were in doubt, they should recall the face of the poorest man you might have seen and then to consider how your policy or decision will impact that poor man.
People’s Way of Celebrating the Event
The Discussion Forum on MyGov received a lot of ideas and suggestions, they are eager and excited to celebrate Bapu’s 150th birth anniversary. Everyone seeks to inculcate his teachings and values in their own different unique ways. They are finding their own ways to pay homage to the Father of our Nation.
Umesh Kumar suggested that we should celebrate Bapu’s 150th Birth Anniversary by announcing the penalty system for Littering, throwing garbage at Footpath, use of Plastics and wastage of Resources.
Vatsal Pankajbhai Shah was of the opinion that we should start a Mahatma Gandhi Trust which provides free education for economically backward students and provide health facilities to people. Also all the people of our country should pledge that we keep our surroundings clean. Every last working day of the month should be celebrated as Swachh Bharat day.
Some citizens have ideas which they can’t execute at their own level and hope the Government would take up the responsibility, ensuring this event is celebrated with full fervour. Like Vishal Lalchandani suggested that Bapu Walkathon event should be organised – As Mahatma Gandhi believed in walking long distances, Let us follow Bapu’s footsteps and arrange a country wide Walkathon event for the entire society.In this event people can come together and walk for predefined distances. There will be a completion medal for all the registered participants. The entire amount of registration fees should go for the well-being of our country’s soldiers.
A unique idea put forward was by Shabir Shakir as the organisation of a ‘Bapu Shourya Gatha Diwas’, wherein promiment personalities from different countries could be invited, who understand and hold love for Bapu’s efforts and teachings directed towards maintaining peace and achieving freedom through non-violence. People from different parts of the world could therefore converse and discuss with the young minds in India the lessons learnt from Gandhiji’s writings and how the youngsters can take forward the message of peace everywhere.
A big hit among many citizens is organisation of cleanliness drives, and promotion of the idea of Swachh Bharat. Another idea which many plan to execute is the raising awareness around the benefits of wearing ‘Khadi’ and encouraging their families and friends to incorporate the cloth in their daily lifestyle.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had initiated the 150th year celebrations on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, 2018. The Government now plans to prepare a documentary of the celebrations held to mark this event over the one year. The excitement and love for Bapu is visible in people, everyone looks forward to mark this occasion with full fervour. Translations of Gandhiji’s collect works will be presented to Universities abroad, and each of India’s diplomatic mission in foreign lands will be doing talk shows in 12 schools, along with giving out books on Mahatma Gandhi in various languages and over 150 trees will be planted globally.
With citizens and the Government joining hands to remember the great Mahatma, the 150th birth anniversary of Bapu will be an occasion that would be cherished and remembered by all, within and outside India.
This blog has been contributed by a volunteer.