gandhian experimentalist in our backyard


Returning from a very inspiring visit to suruchi yantra vidyalaya and sampoornav kranti vidyalaya vedchi. Suruchi has more than 40 kinds of hand tools for workers for improving their productivity. Mohannbhai parikh had set up this centre for improving the skills of blacksmiths, and also their tools and furnaces for making implements for farming fifty years ago. Ramkumar and Rama singh, both engineers are now managing it in a selfless manner.

They had earlier lived at wardha ashram. They also pursue vermiculture, organic farming and fabricate and sell solar cooker. They also buy vermcompost from farmers and sell it to other farmers.

On the way we took khaja –a special dish of Surat region made of maida, white pepper, and cooked on low heat slowly with mangoes at manner bhai patel\’s place. He was one of the first organic sugarcane organic farmer started more than 15 years ago. He has been honoured with sristi sanman. He mobilised local community to desilt a tank, used the silt to broaden the approach road, make a few islands fr ducks and designed a beautiful park around it. Such a beautiful common property rejuvenation, all through local help. Several industrialists donated old boiler pipes with fins used as fences, rather unusually beautiful.

Next we, I ramesh, Chetan and hardev went to sampoornav karni vidyalaya set up by a veteran 88 year old gandhian Shri Narayan bhai. There I interacted with teachers of Gujarat vidyapeeth Ahmedabad about how do we bring authenticity in educational processes. How to make students learn fom four teachers, with in, among peers, nature and common people.

Returned a while ago with memories of what young and old are trying to do, imbued as they are with gandhian values, to make our little world around us more humane, meaningful and purposeful.

Anil K Gupta