A month- long Gandhi Utsav and Khadi Fest, perhaps first of its kind, with focus on Agriculture, Rural Development, Youth and Education which the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi organised in Trivandrum as part of its yearlong Diamond Jubilee celebrations from 12 December to 10 January in association with Nabard and several other organisations including National Council for Rural Higher Education was a historic and unique initiative which attracted considerable public interest and enthusiastic youth participation.
The programmes were permeated with a spiritual halo in conformity with the Indian tradition which celebrates the Sixtieth Anniversary of an individual or an institution as very auspicious. It is an occasion to rejoice as well as to thank the Almighty. So is the case with the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi which entered its 60th anniversary in 2010.
The Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, as is well known, has been playing a significant role in leading the Kerala state through innovative and productive activities all these years besides sensitizing the youth along Gandhian lines and promoting harmony in areas of conflicts.
Several thousand youth, constructive workers, spirited men and women under the aegis of Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi had contributed considerably to the socio-economic development of the state as well since the inception of Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi sixty years ago.
The Diamond Jubilee of this premier Gandhian organization, therefore, is being viewed as an occasion to reach out to society in a more creative manner with innovative constructive programmes of various types. The yearlong Diamond jubilee programmes therefore are being viewed as path-breaking and highly innovative.
The yearlong programme began in right earnest on the Quit India Day of 2010 (9th Aug) when the Opposition Leader Sri Ommen Chandy released the logo of the Diamond Jubilee Programmes and launched the website of the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi at a function presided over by Prof. N. Radhakrishnan, working Chairman of the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi.
The formal inauguration of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration was held on 21st Aug 2010 when Sri. TKA Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India declared open the yearlong celebrations at a seminar on “Kerala Development-Gandhian Perspectives”. Among those who were present at the function were P.GopinathanNair, .Viswambharan ( Ex.MP), K.C.Shasidhar ( ChiefGeneral Manager, NABARD), Dr.G.C.Gopala Pillai, K.Viswanathan , Adv.K.Ayyappan Pillai, Mohan Raju. The thirty day Gandhi utsav and khadi fest was a sequel to this
The Gandhi Rath
A tastefully decorated vehicle with photographs of Gandhi on both sides of the vehicle and highlights of the Gandhi Fest in the back and front of the Rath and pre recorded announcement, interspersed with Gandhi Bhajans was flagged off from two places on 12 December, the first from Gandhi Bhavan by the senior leader and former MP Sri. Tennala Balakrishna Pillai and the second by Sri. K.C. Shashidhar, the Chief General Manager of NABARD from the headquarters of NABARD. The Gandhi Rath went round the city in the next three days taking the message of the Gandhi Festival to the various parts of Trivandrum city and in the adjoining towns and villages. The Gandhi Rath attracted the attention of a large number of public and it proved to be a well- thought out and neatly executed curtain- raiser. The Gandhi Rath was designed by Artist Poongod Udayan. Mr. K.C. Sasidhas, Chief General Manager NABARD hoisted the flag of the 30 day Utsav.
Deviating from the normal practice of getting functions and initiatives kicked off by seniors,the inauguration of the Gandhi Utsav was done by a youth leader, the Chairman, Kerala University Union, R. Lenin at a youth assembly of 72 youth representatives from different parts of the state.The Gandhian ideals and perspective should be brought to the minds of youth’s in order to save India and its democratic set up in India, especially in Kerala. Mr. Lenin pointed out in his speech Sister Mydhili felicitated.
After the prayer of the students from Swathi Thirunal Music College, Prof. V.Ramadas, Secretary, Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi welcomed the gathering. Mrs. P. Gopinathan Nair, chairman, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi presided over the function. Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, working chairman made the introductory speech. Mr. J.S. Sunil kumar, MLA, Adv. Bindu Krishna, V.V. Ramesh M.P Saju & V.V. Rajesh, I.B. Satheesh, led the discussions that followed. Mr.Prayar Gopalakrishnan Ex. MLA was the moderator.
Mrs. Kamud Joshy, chairperson, Khadi Commission and former Minister at the Centre inaugurated the Khadi Fest 2010 at 10 am on 13/12/2010. If we need world peace we have to follow Gandhian Thoughts “She said. Mr. P. Gopinathan Nair, Chairman, Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, presided. Sri. K.C Kalappa, P.Govindan, K. Mohan Raju, Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, K.C. Sasidhar, and Prof. V. Ramadas were the other speakers.
There were nine venues for the Festival on the premises of the Gandhi Bhavan which soon acquired the characteristics of a major village Festival. The Khadi fest was held at the new building block on the southern side of the main building while the Book Exhibition was held on the front portico of the Gandhi Bhavan. Discussions were held in the J.P Hall and in the mini halls in the annexe while students competitions were held at three venues on the grounds ( in the Mathrubhumi hall, open air theatre and in the Museum hall. Films were shown in the front ground while demonstration of Naturopathy, exhibition of GKI, pottery, khadi weaving and spinning were on the foreground.
The highlights of this first-ever held Gandhi Utsav were:
Seminars/Discussions/Meeting/Dialogues/Presentations on Contemporary issues
* Violence Free zones, Shantikendras in educational institutions
* Environmentalists and eco-friendly housing experts meet.
* Poison, Poison all the way–Is there no way out? -
* How safe the water we drink, food we eat and air that we breathe?
* Himsamukt Bharat: Discussion
* Value creating education for development & Peace
* Meeting on liquor and other social evils
* Problems of the dalit Community
* Relevance of Khadi and Village Industries in the globalised and fast changing socio- economic scenario.
* Value creating education for development & peace * Authors, poets in action – recital & exchange of ideas
2. National Conferences:
3. Training and demonstration sessions
* Training in Swadeshi products and demonstration session on alternative employment avenues to women and youth in rural areas.
* Demonstration sessions on Naturopathy * Demonstration of spinning, weaving, pottery, soap making and garments making
* Workshops on Rural Development Strategies.
* Organic farming and Sustainable Agriculture: Key to future-
5. Face to face with those who have seen Gandh
* Exhibition and Sales of Khadi & Village Industries Products (at Gandhi Bhavan, Trivandrum and in other 16 Gramodyog Bhavans across the State
* Books, Periodicals, journals of Gandhi
* Gandhi-King-Ikeda: Pioneers of humanistic transformation
* Sixty years of Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi- A pictorial journey
* Gandhi in Kerala as Mathrubhumi saw it.
7. New initiatives
* Opening of a Charkha Museum
* Foundation-stone laying of Khadi-Gramodyog Emporium on the campus of Gandhi Bhavan. * Introducing Eco-friendly khadi garments named ‘Surabhi & Souhrada’
* Karshaka Jyothi: instituting Awards and incentives to farmers
* Commencement of regular museum-based educational programme on Gandhi and national movement for freedom entitled “our heritage”
8. Special programmes for Children and youth
* Young singers in action – Peace through Music * Book Corner and Children’s Carnival * Essay/Elocution/Quiz/Painting/Competitions for children and youth.
* Interactive leadership lessons through arts for children led by children specialists. * Youth-focused programmes/Assemblies/ Training programmes such as Greening the campus, neighbourhood, educational institutions.
9. Competitions for students
* Essay competitions, elocution competitions, painting competitions, patriotic songs, Kathaprasang, Poety recitals, held in which several thousand
* Films/Video Presentations/ poetry recitals/visualizations * 100 years of Nonviolence. A journey through six Gandhi films. * Value - creating afternoons - Videos and discussions on Dr. Ikeda’s plays for children. * Gandhi Poetry recitals, visualizations and rendering of Compositions on Gandhi. * Presentations of Gandhi plays, skits and other creative forms.
* Youth-focused programmes/Assemblies/ Training programmes such as Greening the campus, neighbourhood, educational institutions
10. 150 years of Gurudev Tagore:
Tribute to Gurudev Rabindra Sangeet, presentation of Tagore’s play Chandalika, Reminiscences of former Shantiniketan students and Tagore – 150 lecture series.
11. New initiatives
* Opening of a Charkha Museum in the Gandhi Bhavan Complex
* Foundation-stone laying of Khadi-Gramodyog Emporium on the campus of Gandhi Bhavan. * Introducing Eco-friendly khadi garments named ‘Surabhi & Souhrada’
* Karshaka Jyothi : instituting Awards and incentives to farmers
* Commencement of regular museum-based educational programme on Gandhi and national movement for freedom entitled “our heritage”
Seminar on Life Skill Education
The highlight of the programme on the 17th day of the Gandhi Utsav on 27th December is a workshop on Life Skill Education sponsored by Rajeev Gandhi National Institute of youth Development at Sreeperumpudur
The seminar in three sections discussed in details the salient aspects of Life Skill Education. The Seminar was inaugurated by Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhaattacharrjee, Vice chair person of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. Prof. N. Radhakrishnan Working Chairman of Kerala Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, Sri. Gopinathan Nair, Chairman of Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, Prof. V. Ramdas, Secretary also participated in the inaugural programme.
The academic sessions were led by Dr. A. Radhakrishnan Nair, Faculty Head of RGNIYD and he was supported by his colleagues from his institute.
Trade unions for harmonious growth: discussion among Trade Union leaders and workers
The highlight of the 23rd day of the Gandhi Utsav (Festival) was a meeting of trade union leaders and workers to discuss trade union.
The programme was started 10am and the session was presided over by Sri. R.S. Paniker, Ex. Member, Kerala Public Service Commission. It was inaugurated by the Minister for Forest Binoy Viswom. Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Working Chairman of the Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi made the introductory speech. Sri. A. Aziz MLA (UTUC), Sri. Kuttiyanikad Madhu (AITUC), Sri. P. Rajeendradas (KKEO) was the other speakers. Dr. Radhakrishnan in his opening remarks recalled the position Gandhi had taken on workers welfare as well as the ethics and healthy relations that should prevail every sphere human every endeavour. The Trusteeship idea of Gandhi was a blueprint for revolutionary changes in trade union as well as social relationship. Unfortunately the trade union world has not taken Gandhi seriously and effort is being taken either to re evaluate of to understand Gandhi both in the historical context and in the emerging national and global scenario.
Sri. Binoy Viswom in his inaugural address pointed out that he is proud of his association with trade union world. He enjoyed being a trade union leader and he is first and foremost a trade unionist. Accumulation of wealth seems to have become the highest priority of both a large segment of population and nations also compete even unethically to remain at the top economically. Never before in human history had money played such overriding roll in human destiny. Money has become god and everything else is secondary. Globalisation is the product of the capitalised world this believes in unethical practices to generate more wealth. They have no concern for human misery, least of all the proletarian misery or workers plight. Capitalistic injustice and insensitivity remains the prime factors that cause the growing chasm leading to deprivation and helplessness in large segments of people across the globe. Karl Marx and Gandhi were revolutionary who fought for changing social order. They had divergent views and strategies and both of them were humans who strove for a new social order.
Any society which ignores the welfare of workers will be a decadent’s structure. Gandhi and Marx were two important signposts in human transformation, are give Mr. Viswom
FROM VIOLENCE AND CONFRONTATION TO DIALOGUE AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK : NATIONAL MEET
The highlights of the 21st and 22nd day of the 26 day Gandhi Festival being held at the Gandhi Bhavan of the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in Thiruvananthapuram will be a national meet on “From Violence and Confrontation to Dialogue and Constructive Work”.
The two-day Meet which will be attended by peace activists, constructive workers, NGO representatives, Gandhian scholars and activists, academics, artists, social scientists, writers, researchers, scholars and students will examine during the two day meet issues and perspectives related to the raging violence, killings and growing confrontationist tendencies on the part of youth and misguided and armed groups. An atmosphere of confrontation is alarmingly enveloping the country hampering development.
Taking up of arms for the redressing of grievances by injured or marginalized groups and the conviction of authorities that all uprisings and revolt could be met effectively by superior deployment of police or army are indications that the nation is sliding back to the days of the dictum “ an eye for an eye “.
Should we not explore the possibilities of nonviolent conflict Management and encourage the process of Dialogue as a National objective? Is killing for whatever reasons the answer?
Should not the government take the NGOs and Gandhian Organizations seriously in helping those groups and others involved in the process of facilitating silent work at the grass roots level?
Should not each of us think of ways and means to move away from Violence and Confrontations to Dialogue and Constructive Work?
The Twenty first and twenty second day of the 26th day Gandhi Festival, being held in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the Diamond Jubilee of Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi from 12 December to 6 January 2011, offer and opportunity to all those who are worried about the growing instances of resorting to violence and terror. Some of the senior peace activists, Gandhian Scholars and social scientists, government officials, police officers, researchers are expected to attend this two day conclave as a New Year Day Exercise of importance.
In Six sessions during the two days of the meet besides analyzing the complex issues before us now in peace building, peace making and peace keeping, sharing of experiences by senior peace activists, conflict management experts who are presently involved in the various sile.
Meeting of senior functionaries of Gandhi Smarak Nidhi (southern region) and Gandhian Constructive Workers
This letter is in continuation of the invitation extended to you all by Sri P. Gopinathan Nair, Chairman, Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi at the meeting of representatives of four southern states on 23rd July 2010 at Bangalore and the suggestion communicated to us by Sri. Ramachandra Rahi, Secretary, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi to host a meeting of the representatives of Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and workers of Southern Region on 5th January at Gandhi Bhavan, Trivandrum to discuss issues of common interest.
Sri. P. Gopinathan Nair presided over the meeting which Sri. Ramachandra Rahi, Secretary of central Gandhi Smarak Nidhi inaugurated.Dr N.Radhakrishnan initiated the discussion by highlighting the problems Gandhian constructive workers.
National Meet of Gandhian Constructive Workers on “From Violence and Confrontation To Dialogue and Constructive Work” and “A Violence Free And Non killing India”
The best tribute which can be offered to the ‘Father of the Nation’ in the present circumstances could only be that if we think and carry on the same work which he left for us and in that direction, with the beginning of the New Year 2011, a well organized gathering with discussions and formulation of different policies by people who are working on Gandhian Principles in their respective places, sit under one roof and worked out the further modalities for the noble cause of betterment of the humanity. In this direction, a two day meet which was well attended by different sections and parts of India, consisting of peace activists, constructive workers, NGO representatives, like Kerala Harijan Samaj activists, Gandhi Darshan and Swadeshi Peace Activists, activists running the prohibition programmes, scholars and activists, artists, social scientists, writers, researchers, scholars and students.
On the first day, the technical session was chaired by Sri. P. V. Rajagopal, the other resource person was Dr. Manish Sharma, along with Dr. Krishna Kumar, Mr. J.M. Rahim, and other respected members of the core group. In the session, Dr. N. Radhakrihnan while welcoming the members highlighted that in the present circumstances, the coming generations will find it difficult in terms of what they would be getting from their parents as today the graph of violence is very high and the main agenda of the discussion group would be on three main issues in the form of “Why Violence is increasing in 3 different spheres i.e., in Rural Areas, Towns and in the Homes?” With these burning issues, the other issues which were discussed were the issue of landless farmers, land reforms and the new polices which are formulated in different parts of the country also got highlighted and the other issue which was discussed was that “Who cares for the poor in real terms?” In his speech, Mr. P.V. Rajagopal had narrated various stories regarding the different policies which are meant for the upliftment of the poor and down trodden but the actual beneficiaries of the same are the big industrialist or the political parties who are having connections with each other and are the real gainers in all terms. Violence is becoming a big industry and the real beneficiaries from the same are again the big industrial houses along with the politicians whereas the real sufferers from the same are the poor and the middle class people who have no say or have very little say in the day to day activities of life. In solution to these problems, he also suggested that the other way to overcome the problems of violence is to first change our attitude towards the working as well as the change in ideology, thoughts and deeds. Dr. Manish Sharma while presenting his views highlighted the pictures of the gallery of the Gandhi Bhavan in which Gandhian movements and his messages for the masses were portraited and he also pointed that the solution of all these problems lies in these pictures. The problems are created in our mind as our approach and thinking is totally based on the market forces which influence the masses. The other reason is the growing insecurity and lack of confidence among the masses forces them towards the path of violence. Manish had come with 5 different pointers in the form of solutions to these problems viz.:
a) More emphasis should be on joint Family System,
b) Women Empowerment and proper recognition to their efforts in all respects,
c) Change in Education system,
d) Control over Media and its role,
e) The scope of Economic Development in the form of for What, Where and for whom should be for everyone irrespective of any discrimination.
The other delegates also shared their different viewpoints and stories in combating the problem of violence. The other point which has emerged during the discussion was that now the market is only for the cosmetic and materialistic products. In the end, all the members happily agreed on nine different pointers and suggested that preventable measures should be taken care of for the betterment of the humanity. And these 9 pointers were:
1. Need for Individual and Mass Action along with good religious education
2. Strengthen of Community Development (Communal Based Approach)
3. Make Agriculture as the main culture of the Indian Community
4. Learn to Share and Discuss instead of use of Muscle Power
5. Truth based life
6. Learn to respect women – their work and value in all aspects
7. Education should also be in the form of generation of employment
8. Need more responsible and authentic media
9. Development Model for all irrespective of any odds.
On second day, the technical session was chaired by Professor William Bhaskaran, the other distinguish members of the panel includes, P.V. Rajagopal, Dr. Krishna Kumar, Mr. J.M. Rahim, Dr. Manish Sharma, Dr. R.V. Singh (Senior Scientist, National Centre for Integrated Pest Management – Pusa Complex, New Delhi) along with the other local delegates from different NGOs and institutions. While welcoming the delegates, Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, made some observations that, after the independence, India had made a good progress in terms of many aspects and the same can be seen from the different census conducted with different parameters and dimensions as development is must for the growth of a nation. He also emphasized that a new kind of movement is the need of the hour and to start that movement, we have to cultivate some values in the youth as well as in the other segments of the society. While putting the agenda before the delegates, he mentioned that, the core subject of the discussion group would be to see the activities from different perspectives, the various initiatives taken at national, local levels which are not known to outer world because of the one or the other reason and secondly, the initiatives taken at the academic levels and thirdly, regarding the concept of Peace Making, Building and Keeping the same – may be in the form of Shanti Sena or any other peace movement at any level.
The other point which was discussed that “Whether Change Can Be Possible?” and what could be the ways for the achievement of the same. To this, the members come with different notions on the concept of ‘Change’ that Change is the mother of all developments, it requires confidence and courage, actual potential is with the poor and rural masses, market is captured by materialistic goods, men has become individual and the concept of the social, pure and truth are vanishing in the darkness of the evil forces. In his brief message and speech, Mr. P.V. Rajagopal had mentioned that these days, the policy of the government regarding the land and landless farmers is not of the right approach as very soon, the consequences would be visible to the people and he along with 50,000 farmers, who started their agitation against the government and had covered the path direct from Madhya Pradesh to New Delhi via foot, had demonstrated that the poor and the farmers also know about their rights and can raise voice against any mighty government at any stage. Their movement was totally based on Gandhian principle of nonviolence. Though the movement is in its initial phase or rather on experimental pattern but the positive result can be seen with success.
The next presentation was made by Dr. Manish Sharma regarding the Himsamukt Bharat Andolan (Violence-Free India Campaign) alongwith the introduction of the Citizens’ Commission For Dialogue, Justice and Reconciliation (CCDJR). He mentioned that the campaign of Himsamukt Bharat Andolan was launched in 2004 under the auspices of Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, New Delhi, in association with several educational Institutions and like minded NGO’s, with the noble innovative programmes to sensitize the civil society on its role in the emerging situations and to promote a culture of peace and citizens groups to fight against violence, hatred and intolerance and to promote harmony and peace in society. The idea was to promote nonviolent methods of dialogue and reconciliation for justice, development and security between the stake holders, i.e., the government and those involved in extremism, violence and terror. The campaign had the advice and patronage of such national leaders as former President of India Shri. R. Venketaraman and Shri. Sadiq Ali. Quite a few activities were undertaken in different parts of India since the commencement of the campaign and they include:
1. Three month-long public campaign to enlist one lakh families to nonviolence
2. Youth camps on the problem of violence in 17 states of India and in 43 universities/colleges
3. Essay and elocution competitions for school children in about 600 educational institutions throughout India
4. Padayatras (in 4 states) and discussion sessions (in 12 states)
5. Six regional meetings involving senior Gandhian activist; parliamentarians, journalists, writers, academics and social activists.
6. 140 Satyagraha Centenary Special Lectures/Seminars on the Contemporary Relevance of Satyagraha particularly in the context of the growing menace of violence and terror in India and abroad.
He further added that the next phase of the Himsamukt Bharat Andolan was the introduction of the Citizens’ Commission For Dialogue, Justice and Reconciliation (CCDJR) on 6th August, 2009 i.e., 64th Anniversary of Hiroshima Atomic Bombing day. The first meeting in this series was held at Shobit University Tower, Mayur Vihar, Phase – II, New Delhi and a resolution was moved for setting up of “Citizens’ Commission For Dialogue, Justice and Reconciliation (CCDJR)” and regional meetings were also conducted in different regions of the country. The historic draft was like this:
“We hereby resolve to support and institute an independent Citizens’ Commission on Dialogue, Justice and Reconciliation to facilitate ushering in of a Culture of Peace through nonviolent intervention in areas of conflicts and
confrontation and strive to promote elimination of factors which are responsible for violence and killing and encourage both the authorities and civil society to look for nonviolent problem solving and promote the spirit of a nonkilling India.”
In the next presentation Dr. R.V. Singh, Senior Scientist with National Centre for Integrated Pest Management – Pusa Complex, New Delhi, highlighted the poor conditions of the Indian farmers, who are facing many difficulties in terms of cultivation, seed procurement, pesticides, non-availability of the manure, tolls and other necessary infrastructure for the proper care of the food grains and its storage. He also highlighted that the new agrarian policy of 2010-11 would be beneficial to a particular group and the rest of the farmers will not be benefitted from the same. The other issues which were discussed were the issue of inflation and the high rise of the prices of the commodities. The next issues on which everyone debated was the education system, which is just producing the white collar gentlemen’s, who don’t know what to do after their education is over. Every one unanimously agreed that, now we need a change in our education policy, so that the future of the coming generations could be secured and the opportunities of the employment can be generated without any difficulties so that every hand would be having some sort of work. The other issue on which every one debated was the market forces in the form of materialistic comforts of the western civilization. Time to time, new pay commissions are coming up with the recommendations of increase in wages for everyone but despite that fact, the masses are find it difficult to overcome the killing image of inflation and the commodities are going out of the reach of the masses. In his presidential remarks, Professor William Bhaskaran stated that there is a big gap between the formation of the any policy/bill and the implication of the same, which results into the miss match at the time of getting the results of the same. The other object of the concern is the high growth of the domestic violence which is becoming a big bolt on all of us. In the present circumstances, the three M – Money power, Muscle Power and the Market Power – they all are creating the big difference between the rich and the poor. These forces decide the fate of the country and the respective state and central governmental bodies are part of them and they are giving shelter to these institutions under their regime and the consequences of the same are faced by the general public. The concept of knowledge based has gone and instead of that the concept of money and favoritism has taken. The people are raising their voices for their rights but them not actually doing their duties. According to him, the real cause of the day to day increase of violence is that the people are forgetting their human values, morals, ethics, sincerity, respect for others and more over their approaches towards life are governed by money, muscle and market forces. In conclusion to the questions raised by different participants, he made it clear that, the middle class can play a major role in the reforms and the proposed changes for the betterment of the humanity. Secondly, he stated that violence is not the solution of any problem, for some time, one can be hold on through violence but not for longer time and the results of the same would also be not good for both the parties and thirdly, he stated that, if we have to solve the problem, then we have to go into the root cause of the problem that for what reason, the problem had come up and how the same could be sorted out without hurting or harming the others and the same can be achieved with the Gandhian principles of Truth and Nonviolence.
In the end, the organizing secretary thanked everyone and made it clear that the recommendations and suggestions of the seminar would be forwarded to the concern authorities and to the organizers of the seminar also so that in future also they can again reformulate their policies and programmes as suggested by the participants of the seminar.
Training in Swadeshi Products
Inaugurated by I&PRD Director M. Namda Kumar, Dr. N. Radhakrishnan Presided. The other speakers were J.M. Rehim, Dr. Jacob Pulikars, Prayar Gopalakrishnan.
The seminar was inaugurated by P.K. Subhash at 10.00 am. He said in his speech that the whole vegetables we require for our use are to be cultivated by ourselves then only we can avoid the contamination.
Dr. N. Radhakrishnan presided over the function. Mr. V. Ramadas proposed vote of thanks.
Dr. V.B. Padmanabhan, Professor, College of Agriculture, Vellayani spoke about Organic vegetable farming for an hour.
Dr. V. Sivaprasad, Associate Director, Kerala Agriculture University spoke about the control of diseases in crops with special reference to vegetable. He took one and half hours to finish his class.
Pests Control on (organic) vegetables was well explained by Dr. C. Nandakumar during his talk per class which took one and half hours.
Mr. M. Ayyappan Nair, Project Co-ordinator proposed vote of thanks. Seventy farmers and a good number of the public attend the seminar.
Seminar on organic farming continued at 10.00 am on 20/12/2010. Dr. N. Radhakrishnan was on the chair. Mr. Jagadeesh presented his views and put forward his suggestions. Dr. G. Balamohan Thampi was the chief guest.
Dr. Thomas Biju Mathew, Professor, Pesticides Residue Laboratory, College of Agriculture, Vellayani explained in his class about pollution, pesticides, poisons being the silent killers.His class lasted for 1 ½ hours.
Dr. MKC Nair, Director, Child Care S.A.T. Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram explained about pollution, Pesticides Residue on the health of people for an hour and 30 minutes.
Mr. Ayyappan Nair proposed vote of thanks.
Seminar on construction workers
Prof. V. Ramadas, Secretary to Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi welcomed the gathering.
Dr. N. Radhakrishnan was on the chair.
Inauguration – Bishop Rev. Father Lijin. Sri. K.G. Jagadeesh presented his observation the field.
Challenges facing farmers and customers – talk by Dr. P. Gopimony, Rtd. Professor, Agriculture College, vellayani for an hour and a half.
Mr. M. Ayyappan Nair proposed vote of thanks.
Validictory of Organic Farming
Honorable Minister, Mullakara Retnakaran inaugurated the valedictory function of organic farming at Gandhi Bhavan, Thycaud on 21/12/2010.
Mr. K.C. Sasidhar, Chief General Manager, NABARD, presided over the function. Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Prof. Gopalakrishnan Nair, Prof. V. Ramadas and M. Ayyappan Nair 22/12/2010
Seminar on the problems of women
Prayer – Mrs. Rugmini Ramakrishnan.
Welcome – Dr. D. Maya.
Smt. Remany P. Nair, President, TVM Dist. Panchayath inaugurated the function. Presidential address - Smt. B. Lalithambika, IAS, Professor B. Hridayakumari spoke.
Various problems of the women have been discussed under the leadership of the following dignitaries on the dias – Smt. Vimala Menon, Smt. Sulochana Ravi Mohan, Prof. Mary Mathew and Dr. Iris.
Dr. S. Sreedar consolidated the discussion and Smt. Saralakumary proposed vote of thanks.
Seminar on Life Skills Education
This seminar sponsored by the Rajeev Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development at Sreeperumpudur and held as part of the 26 day Gandhi Utsav at the Gandhi Bhavan of the Kerala Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi which discussed in detail the salient features of Life Skills Education.
Life skills are defined as abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enables individual to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Life skills empower adolescents to make informed decisions in their lives. In order to address the need of life skills for the overall development of adolescents,
Rajeev Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, an autonomous institution of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India has taken up Adolescent Health and Development Project assisted by United Nations Population Fund in which Life Skills is one of the components.
Smt. Thara Gandhi Bhattacharya (grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi and Vice Chairperson of Gandhi Smruthi & Darsan Samithy, New Delhi) was the chief guest at the inaugural function.
Sri. P. Gopinathan Nair (Chairman, Kerala Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi) presided over.
Dr. A. Radhakrishnan Nair (Faculty Head of RGNIYD) led the session. His collegues from his Institute supported him.
Prohibition of Liquor
Dr. N. Radhakrishnan inaugurated the workshop. Sri. J.M. Rehim, Co-ordinator, Centre for Gandhian Studies, University of Kerala chaired the workshop. Prof. V. Ramadas was the principal speaker.
In a class conducted by Dr. Anilkumar, Assistant Professor, Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram explained in detail everything about the after effect of liquor and other intoxicating substances. Mr. Murukumpuzha Rajendran, Nedumangad Somasekharan Nair, Sri. Christhudas, Kumari Chandrakala, Kumari Divya and Vithura Vijayakumaran Nair joined the discussion.
Charka, the Symbol of liberty – Smt. Thara Gandhi.
A Charka Museum, being a part of the Gandhi Utsav – Khadi Fest was inaugurated by Smt. Thara Gandhi by lighting a lamp in the presence of Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan Nair, K.V. Mohanan, Prof. V. Ramadas, Murukumpuzha Rajendran and Dr. C. Pratheep.
Youths are expected to take up the leadership of our nation – opioned by Sri. C.P. John, Former member of the Planning Board in a conference held at Gandhi Bhavan, Thycaud,
Thiruvananthapuram on 29/12/2010 in connection with the Gandhi Utsav for 26 days.
Seminar on healthy Trade Union relationships
In the seminar held at Gandhi Bhavan, Thycaud in connection with the Diamond Jubilee Celebration and the 30 day Gandhi Festival the following dignitaries presented their views in their own perspectives.
R.S. Panicker (Ex. PSC member), Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Prof. V. Ramadas, MLA A.A. Aziz (UTUC), Kuttiyanicad Madhu (AITUC) and P. Rajendradas (KKEO) expressed their views on the topic. The Honorable Minister for Forest, Mr. Binoy Viswam inaugurated the seminar in the capacity of a leader of a Trade Union. He said he was always with the employees.
Mr. Panicker consolidated the views of the speakers. The seminar came to a close by 1.30 pm with Vote of Thanks of Mr. Sasikumaran Nair.
Seminar on Trade Unions and healthy relation between workers and Management
Sri. R.S. Paniker (Ex. PSC member) was the person who inaugurated the discussion and acted as the moderator. In his inaugural address he stressed the need for healthy relation between the labour force and the managements. Mr. Panicker said that Gandhiji was the only person who argued in favour of the employees. He suggested that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to ensure six days work and a holiday in a week. Mahatmaji argued for 35 % of the benefits as wages to the working class – Mr. Paniker pointed out.
Dr. Radhakrishnan, Working Chairman introduced Mr. R.S. Panicker to the audience and requested Prof. Ramadas to welcome the gathering. While the Ramadas were welcoming the audience, our Minister Mr. Benoy Viswom has arrived. Mr. Ramadas cut short his words and handed over the mike to the chairman of the session, Mr. Panicker.
The Honorable Minister for forest Mr. Benoy Viswam started with his admiration to the office bearers of Gandhi Smarak Nidhi for holding such a session. Mr. Viswam was proud of his stand being a leader of the working class. “Adhidhi Devo Bhav” we have another option for which “Dhanam Devo Bhava”, the Minister said. The Minister also opined that needs can be tolerated, but greed not tolerable. The greed actually in the enemy of people, he remarks. Sathyagraha itself is a way that Gandhiji had resorted to. When there was no movement to put forward the demands of the employees, people from outside expressed their willingness to donate money to Gandhiji. But Gandhiji did most accept the money, the minister said.
Next Speaker was Mr. A.A Aziz, MLA and leader of U.T.U.C. He started his speech noting his inability to hear the other speaker as the police bill was being discussed in the Assembly and as such he had to return to the Assembly as early as possible to vote for the bill. Gandhiji started Sathyagraha as a weapon to fight for the poor workers. At that time there were no laws. Now a days we have laws and rules for everything but of doubtful. Laws can be passed very easily. But it is very difficult to in force – MLA has pointedout Gandhiji adopted disobedience as a tool to fight for a common cause. If we want development there must a change in our attitude was the opinion of the MLA.
Because of the increase in the Political Parties, We witnessed an increase in the number of Trade Unions. If We want to be string to get our grievances conceded we must be writed for which talks are going on the MLA pointed out.
Mr. Kuttiyanikad Madhu (AITUC)
Mr. Madhu also appreciated the move to hold such a dialogue. As there was no union to fight for the working class Gandhiji came to India. Even the Communist
Party hadn’t been formed them. Mahatma Gandhi and the others were fighting for the workers. – Mr. Madhu said. There is no trade union during the regime of the British.
Sri. P. Rajendradas (KKEO)
Mr. Rajendradas also reiterated that such a kind of talk will bring good results. The relation between the labour force and the management needed change. It would started from Gandhi Bhavan for which Dr. Radhakrishnan is the correct person to bring with. The salary of the employees needs periodical change through the sources are very meagre – Mr. Rajendradas opined.
Mr. Sasi Kumaran Nair proposed vote of thanks. The workshop came to a close by 1.50 pm.
Children’s mobilization through arts and crafts, jointly organized by the Rangaprabhat, the Ikeda Centre for Value Creation and the Shanti Sena Training Centre stood out in the festival as a major initiative of children’s mobilization through arts and crafts. The programme which evinced considerable interest and enthusiasm both among the parents and children turned out to be a highly innovative children’s carinival under the leadership of the gifted children’s specialist Smt K.S. Geeta.
The programme was inaugurated on 16 December at an impressive gathering of parents, resource persons and children by Smt. D. Maya, Retd. Principal, N.C Pillai, Secretary, Gandhi media centre, Sri Sukumaran helped the Director to run the programme.
There were forty to 90 children in each session between the age-group of 7 to 16. These children who were selected on the basis of their response to the press announcement on the camp hailed from the different parts of the Thiruvananthapuram District. They represented a cross section of the Kerala community, though the majority was from the depressed and less privileged segment of the society. Preference was given to those who came from backward and socially marginalized sections of the community.
Though initially the organizers were considering of organising six sessions only because of the overwhelming response both from children and their parents the camp management went ahead organising as many as nine sessions.
Dr. Radhakrishnan explaining the objective of the programme said, “This programme which we expect will be children-centred will offer the participating children such opportunities that may initiate them into experiencing the power of nonviolence, creative thinking, innovative experiential learning and full participatory community initiatives. The focus of the entire camp will be to offer children such situations that will help them to unburden themselves from the tension of the present-day education set-up by making full use of the creative aspect of value creation through arts particularly performing arts. Instead of any forced and stereotyped programmes, what the children will see and experience during the camp period here will be an experiment which fosters creativity and value creation going hand-in-hand in order to help children develop positive attitude through live situations.
A team of artists and educators with over four decades of experience in path-breaking experiments in nonviolence training, children’s education and value creation with determination are in command of this special programme under the leadership of a capable artist-educator Smt. K.S. Geeta
On the basis of our experience in the field of value creation and education we are now convinced that sustained efforts are to be made at school level to inculcate values, leadership qualities, to foster reading habits, develop spirit of cooperation and compassion in an otherwise competitive and cruel environment in which the children grow. It is long -felt that sustained efforts are to be made to inculcate in the children values for which appropriate educational inputs are to be provided right (i) in the homes where they grow up, (ii) in the schools where they study and (iii) in the society where they blossom into adults. Unfortunately, very little attention is paid at the level of children’s education and precious little is done to catch the children young and lead them on with concrete and imaginative programmes which alone will generate in the children what the adult world always want the children to be”, Dr Radhakrishnan continued.
There was an orientation session to the resource persons and instructors at which Dr Radhakrishnan reminded them to keep in mind that the present initiative is part of a nationwide campaign the organisers are planning to launch soon to emphasise the value of "giving the children their childhood back" and encouraging their parents and teachers to understand children properly and treat them with compassion and love.
Gandhi in Malayalam literature
Demonstration of hand weaving, spinning and pottery making:
Exhibition and sales of Khadi and village Industries products
Books from Gandhi media centre
Exhibition of GKI
Musueum-based educational programme
Naturopathy programme launched
Institution of Awards fpr Best Farmers
Prize for best book on Gandhi development,
Agriculture and Education under the aegis of Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi.
The Festival which was set in motion with an impressive Youth Assembly at which select youth leaders representing different ideological backgrounds discussing “The India of My Dream”. Over 100 students and youth representatives joined this brainstorming session, was bound up with a Children’s Carnival of over 1000 participants from different city schools where creative competitions were held as part of the Festival. Attractive trophies and books were presented to over three hundred students who won first and second prizes in the competitions. A Gandhi Yuvavedi was also formed by the children in order to continue to interact with each other.
The Festival offered particularly to the young an opportunity to see face to face and interact with some of the tallest senior political leaders, governors, artists, bureaucrats, freedom fighters and young icons.
Gandhi’s grand daughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee who spent two days at the festival was a star attraction. She interacted freely with three segments of the audience: Gandhian Constuctive Workers, Youth Students and children. This was followed by a session on those who have had the privilege to have either seen or worked with Gandhi. Senior Gandhian’s like Sri. Choolur Bhaskaran Nair, Adv. Aiyyappan Pillai, and a lost of freedom fighters led this session. They narrated the lessons they learnt and the inspiration they drew from Gandhi.