Past forward

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
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Chatline Ismat Mehdi’s journey is one that celebrates heritage and languages. The scholar discusses the plans of AP chapter of Sarvodaya International Trust and delves into Hyderabad’s past with Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

Each year, in the first week of October, mass media and social networks debate the relevance on Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals in present times. Days later, the topic is relegated to the recesses of our memories. Persistent and sustained efforts by a few organisations try to keep the spirit of Gandhi alive through their activities in schools. “People abroad still remember Gandhi and try to emulate his ideas. Unfortunately, we’ve moved away from Gandhian philosophy,” says Ismat Mehdi, managing trustee of Sarvodaya International Trust AP Chapter (SITAPC).

At her residence in Jubilee Hills that overlooks the serene Durgam Cheruvu, Ismat Mehdi talks to us soon after partaking in a host of activities conducted by SITAPC at Gandhi Bhavan to mark Gandhi Jayanthi. As she discusses the manifold activities of the organisation and its plans of starting Gandhi clubs in many schools in the city, we are reminded of the strong nationalistic and patriotic streak that runs through her family over generations. Ismat Mehdi’s grandparents resided in Troop Bazaar, close to the Residency, and theirs was the first home in Hyderabad to respond to Mahatma Gandhi’s call for Swadeshi movement.

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