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 29: Gandhi Looks At Leprosy

The picture of Gandhiji nursing a patient suffering from leprosy is a well known one. Do you know the name of the patient? He is Parchure Shastri who was in Yeravada Jail in 1932, along with Gandhiji but was placed in a separate ward for leprosy patient prisoners. Gandhiji had requested the Superintendent for permission to see Parchure Shastri but the prevailing prison laws did not allow that. Thus Gandhiji started a chain of correspondence with him. While in prison Gandhiji started his epic fast for Harijans and when the Poona Pact was signed and he ended his fast, he immediately asked for Parchure Shastri to recite Mantras from Vedas and Upanishads.
Some years later, in 1939, Parchure Shastri wrote to Gandhiji asking for his permission to come and stay in his Ashram at Sevagram and even before Gandhiji could reply he had arrived. Gandhiji was in a dilemma. Knowing that he was suffering from a highly infectious type of leprosy, he was debating within himself whether to allow him to reside in the Ashram where so many men, women and children were living and for whose health and welfare he was responsible. And yet, by turning him away he would be insincere to his own pronouncements. Gandhiji placed his predicament before the Ashramites at the morning prayers. They rose to the occasion, saying they were prepared to receive Parchure Shastri in their midst. A neat cottage was hurriedly put up close to Gandhiji's; he personally nursed him and supervised his diet. Parchure Shastri lived there for two years and recovered sufficiently to act as a priest at a marriage ceremony in Sevagram Ashram in 1940, at Gandhiji's special request.
How is it that Gandhiji managed to find so much time, in the midst of all his preoccupations, to devote to the problem of leprosy?
The answer is found in a moving incident, in his own home in Porbandar when he was barely thirteen years old. At that impressionable age he had come into close contact with a man named Ladha Maharaja who used to recite verses from the Ramayana to Gandhiji's sick father. Ladha Maharaja, it was believed, had been completely cured of leprosy by applying Bilwa leaves and regular recital of Ramayana. Such close contact with a man who had suffered from this dreaded disease had helped him overcome his fear of the same and instilled in him a life long concern for those suffering from this.
Even while in South Africa, a beggar had come to his door in a highly advanced state of the disease. Gandhiji had dressed his wounds, given him food and made him stay as his guest.
There are many such incidents throughout his life which express his compassion and tenderness towards leprosy patients.

Courtesy: Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation, Wardha