Nandini Voice For The Deprived, a Chennai based NGO is presently conducting quiz competition for school students studying in 9th std to 12th std. in Chennai on the life sketch of Mahatma Gandhi, in the context of the forthcoming Gandhi Jayanthi Day on 2nd October 2010.
The quiz masters are surprised to find that the awareness level of the school students about the mission and sacrifices of Mahatma Gandhi is poor. Obviously, the students have not been taught about Mahatma Gandhi in schools and this has caused lack of understanding amongst the students about the thoughts and philosophy of Father of the Nation.
Considering the fact that this is the situation in a place like Chennai city, which is a well informed place in the country, one can imagine the situation in several other parts of India and particularly in the rural areas.
It should cause considerable concern that if this state of affairs would be allowed to continue, thoughts about Mahatma Gandhi may be lost amongst the young Indians in future. Mahatma Gandhi may become a mere subject of history and the level of influence of Gandhian philosophy in the public and private life of future citizens of India would become weak. This would be a great disservice that we would be doing to the future generation.
Gandhian philosophy of truth and ahimsa has to be taught to the young school students and Gandhiji should be projected to them as the ultimate role model. This can be done only by introducing life sketch of Mahatma Gandhi as a compulsory subject of study for school students, atleast in the tenth standard level all over India immediately. No time should be lost in initiating steps to do this. It would be appropriate for the education ministry of Government of India and the education ministries in all the states to announce their intention to do so before the forthcoming Gandhi Jayanthi Day on 2nd October, 2010 and introduce the subject from next academic year onwards.
Nandini Voice For The Deprived earnestly appeals to the central and state governments to accept this suggestion that would benefit school children and the future of India enormously.
N. S. VENKATARAMAN