A 10-member group set out on a yatra “Gandhi Parikrama for Global Peace” from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, arrived in the city on Sunday.
The members are followers of noted Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande, affectionately called ‘Didi', who had formed a young group to carry forward her mission of promoting peace. In what they call a fitting tribute to their ‘Didi” who died in 2008, the team members decided to go around the nation and educate masses on the need to implement Gandhian values in their day-to-day life.
“Didi was a great inspiration to all of us for doing what one believed was right. Our aim is not to mobilise masses but we want to reach out to people at the grassroot level to spread the word of peace and harmony,” said Maruthi, national convenor of the yatra, at a meeting organised at the Atheist Centre.
National president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) G. Samaram said Gandhism was the answer to all the existing problems.
“We have failed to present social concept of any given issue in the right perspective to the youth and that's precisely why we have not been able to prevent the youth from going astray,” he said.
Raising serious concern over what he called ‘institutionalisation' of maladies like corruption and terrorism, he said though it caused a sinking feeling but there was no need to despair as a cure was in sight. “Every problem has a solution and Gandhian principles have never failed us on any front,” he reiterated. Pointing to the ‘urban-oriented' health care system in the country, he reminded that Gandhiji had suggested an answer ages ago.
President of the Krishna District Freedom Fighters' Association Vamana Rao said being a part of the meeting was heart-warming for him. “The spirited patriotic songs rendered by you make me feel young and energetic. For a moment I forgot that I am 87-years-old and felt like a teenager,” he said amidst chuckles. He recalled the close association of Gora and Gandhiji and said though one was an atheist and the other a theist, they were amazingly in agreement on basic principles of human values.
Freedom fighter Parakala Pattabhi Rama Rao, who presented a book to the team members, said Gandhian principles were relevant even today. Vijayam of Atheist Centre presided over the meeting, Nau of Arthika Samatha Mandali, Maru of Vasavya Mahila Mandali were present.