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Workshop on Gandhian thought and Constructive Activityin Contemporary Gujarat

Centre for Social Studies, Surat 17-18 July 2004

by Satyakam Joshi 

When Gandhi returned from South Africa in the early part of the 20th century and took over the leadership of the anti-colonial struggle, his ideals of freedom were unique and original. He saw the social life of the country mired in deep evils. Hence, he gave priority to social reform along with the fight for freedom. So he created organisations of constructive workers to fight for social change. Since Gujarat was his native place he started such activities from here. This explains why there are more than 500 organisations wedded to Gandhian constructive activities with the aim of introducing fundamental social changes for long-term benefits. There are Ashramshalas, Utter-buniadi Shalas, Vishwa Vidyapeeths (Universities), several NGOs in the field of education and agriculture, with a very catholic ideology and comprehensive outlook. All these bear the imprint of Gandhi.

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