BELGAUM: Member of the Karnataka State Third Finance Commission Mahendra S. Kanthi on Tuesday drove to "Gandhi Ghar" in Devagiri village to meet Sadashiva Appasaheb Bhonsle and see how a small section of people have adopted Gandhian values in their lives.
Dr. Kanthi, a professor of international economics and son of the former Chief Minister the late S.R. Kanthi, said that his visit had been meaningful as he had seen in Mr. Bhonsle's life and activities the need for implementing Gandhian value systems in villages to make them self-reliant and healthy. Incidentally, the Union Government observed "Panchayat Diwas" on Tuesday.
Mr. Bhonsle, who had represented the Bagewadi Legislative Assembly constituency from 1946 to 1955 in the erstwhile Bombay State, said that after being witness to development and progress and the subsequent decline in moral values in society in the post-Independence era, his faith in Gandhian values had been strengthened further. He said he was convinced that villages could achieve the goal of Gram Swaraj only through Gandhian values.
He said that the Gandhi Ghar was playing the role of a catalyst for change in this direction. Regular meetings with villagers and training programmes for youth and women were being conducted to motivate them not only to practise Gandhism but also to inspire many others. He said it could be noticed that barring a few stray cases, Devagiri was now free from social evils such as alcoholism, gambling, crime, family disputes, land disputes, and juvenile delinquency.
Mr. Bhonsle said he had been practising "swadeshi" agriculture for over 25years, whereby organic manure and purely indigenous liquids were used in the fields, rather than chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides, to fight against pests and diseases in crops.
He said many other farmers too had adopted organic farming practices in and around the village and were reaping a good yield.
Most families too were using toilets and showing a greater awareness of hygiene and environmental issues.