Short Stories For Everyone
Inspiring incidents from Gandhiji's Life: Selected from the book Everyone's Gandhi
(For the children in the age group of 10 to 15 years)

Gandhiji writing


Gandhi's inspiring short stories selected from the book Everyone's Gandhi

Editor by : Rita Roy

Table of Contents

  1. All for A Stone
  2. A Car And A Pair of Binoculars
  3. My Master's Master
  4. Enter The Monkeys
  5. Premchand Quits His Job
  6. Returning His Medals
  7. Basic Pen
  8. Prisoner No. 1739
  9. Gandhi's White Brother
  10. Who Saw Gandhi?
  11. An Early School
  12. An Unusual March
  13. Spiritual Heir
  14. The Less You Have The More You Are
  15. An Old Goat Talks
  16. The Phoenix Settlement
  17. Gandhi in Amsterdam
  18. Something To Be Shy About?
  19. Gandhiji The Matchmaker
  20. Gandhi's Army
  21. Dandi Snippet
  22. Hiding Something
  23. The Image Maker
  24. Creative Reader
  25. Postcards To The Rescue
  26. A Non-violent Satyagraha 214 Years Ago
  27. Gandhi And Delhi
  28. Gandhiji's Constructive Programme
  29. Gandhi Looks At Leprosy
  30. Baba Amte
  31. They Gave Peace A Chance
  32. From Mahatma To God
  33. Customs Are Out of Fashion
  34. The Man 'Charlie' Wanted To Meet
  35. It Came Naturally To Him
  36. Crossing The Sea of Narrow-Mindedness
  37. Wear Clothes As They Should Be Worn
  38. Education: For Life, Through Life
  39. The Abode of Joy
  40. To Cling to A Belief
  41. The Fruit of A Child's Labour
  42. An Ideal Prisoner
  43. How A Film Became Something More
  44. Gandhi: Beyond India
  45. Gandhi's Life-Saving Medicine
  46. Understanding The Mechanics of Life With Gandhi
  47. The Lokmanya and The Mahatma
  48. Man's Gift To Nature
  49. Gurudev And His Mahatma
  50. One-man Boundary Force
  51. What Does Mahatma Gandhi's Message Mean To Me?
  52. Let's Play Together
  53. Children's Response To Conflict
  54. Beggar By Choice
  55. The Better Half
  56. Uncle Gandhi
  57. The Watch: An Instrument For Regulating Life
  58. Light The Lamp of Your Mind
  59. Gandhi's Bet!
  60. Gandhi Feeling At Home In The Kitchen
  61. What Is Simplicity?
  62. Bapu And The Sardar
  63. The Power of Quality
  64. Gandhi: The Teenager!

Chapter 17: Gandhi At A School In Amsterdam

Piet Dijkstra

Far from India lies Amsterdam a major city of the Netherlands. How far do you think is Amsterdam? Well, if a cyclist were to travel a hundred kilometers a day and follow a straight route, it would take her a little over 10 weeks!
In this far-away city is a school where children have 'adopted' Gandhi. This is how their teacher describes their relationship.

In front of me sit some forty children, all from the higher grades of a primary school in Amsterdam. Half of them are Dutch, the other half is of various descent -- some from North Africa (mostly Morocco or Turkey) but the majority from Surinam, a former Dutch colony in the West Indies. Their grandfathers or great-grandfathers had come as contract or even bonded labour from certain areas in India or the former Dutch East Indies to work on Surinamese sugar plantations. In fact, many of their parents still speak Hindi, though the children speak Dutch at school.
The whole class knows about Gandhi. Just a few hundred metres away stands the Gandhi Monument. Some five years ago, people from Surinam took the initiative to establish and inaugurate this monument. And it is this school that has adopted the Gandhi Monument.
Adoption in this case means that the pupils of the school have the task of keeping clean the pedestal of the statue and the cobbles around the monument. Of course, the municipality gives them the material for this. The cleaning is done at regular intervals and, in particular, before the commemoration of Gandhi's birthday on 2nd October.
While Gandhi is not unknown to them, before the 2nd October the children always request to have specific lessons on Gandhi at school. India and Gandhi are at the centre of their interest then.
Compared with Holland, India is an enormous country. We start therefore with a lesson on geography of India. When a map of India is placed on a map of Europe, we find that the Himalayas fall on the North Of Norway while the South of India lies in the Mediterranean! Every year, almost the same number of children are born in India as there are people living in the Netherlands.
A great difference with India is its many languages. The children certainly will all know about the differences in religion: some go to mosques, others to temples or churches. From here, we move on to talk about their relationships. Why do they look different and why are they equals? Is it nice to be different or should there be no difference?
The lesson on Gandhi then starts with a brief video on his work and his activities. Of course he is the Father of the Indian Nation. But more important is what he did on relations between human beings. We tie in with children's own experiences and what they feel about others. Do they fight now and then? Do they call names and why? Is it right to behave in a violent way?
A few of the children have heard about nonviolence from their parents at home. We go a step forward, talking about how much nicer it might be to cooperate with each other than to fight. It is explained how Gandhi wanted to raise the self-esteem of every Indian individually and of the Indian nation as a whole. How he tried to improve relations between the various communities in India and how he gave an example himself. And finally, what could they do themselves so that persons of various descent, creed and colour can live together without acting against each other in a violent way?