A ‘Champaran Satyagraha Padyatra’ [journey-on-foot] to draw attention to Gandhian values and development is taking place in Champaran on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti: the birth anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi and International Day of Non-Violence Day. The walk retraces the footsteps of Gandhiji on his struggle for the indigo cultivators (movement).
The walk symbolises a call for local development, and draws attention to the need for a workable and sustainable development pattern for the villages of Champaran. Birendra Soni, who organised the event, says “It is a call for the young people to come forward and think of working towards the development of their own village, contributing their bit to the community, in the way that Gandhi spoke about. Panchayat Raj in its true sense is whole-hearted participation in village affairs, participation in the decision making process, and transparency. A second revolution is needed in Champaran, and our attempt is to focus on a Sathyagraha... a walk for truth that has the potential to energize the people, young and old.”
Ten walkers from various places, as well as local residents are expected to retrace the steps of the Mahatma, starting 2nd October, [Gandhi’s birth anniversary and World non- violence day] from Bihitiharwa and culminating on 18th October in Motihari. The significance of 18th October is that on this day in 1918, the Champaran Agrarian Ordinance was repealed, thus signifying the effectiveness of Gandhi’s first Satyagraha. The programme will consist of inter-religious prayer meetings, Prabhat Pheri, village cleaning campaigns, distribution of books and screening of films on Gandhi. Hand cranked spinning wheels will be part of the event: the participants will demonstrate the carding and spinning of cotton into thread.
It is said that Gandhi advocated an hour of spinning a day, and this exercise could produce enough yarn to make a set of clothes every year. The walk is a joint effort by AASRA for Community Transformation (Delhi), AASRA Charitable Trust (Patna), Mahatma Gandhi College of Social Work, Gandhi Shodh Sansthan ( Gaunaha), Kasturba Girl’s High School (Bihtarwa Gandhi Ashram), Gujarat Vidyapeeth (Ahmedabad), Gandhi Research Foundation (Jalgaon), Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram (Ahmedabad), Mahila Samakhya Bihar, Gandhi Memorial Museum (Bihtarwa & Motihari), District Administration East & West Champaran and several others. we invite all of you to join us in Motihari on 18th October 2011.
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