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 39: The Abode of Joy

It may not be out of place to describe here, the activities in the school which was set up in Sevagram to put these ideas into practice. Under the guidance of a band of dedicated teachers, "Anand Niketan" or "Abode of Joy", as the school was aptly called, survived, even when all other Nai Talim institutions were closed down during the Quit India movement and most of the active workers were in jail. It was a residential school where students and teachers lived together.
Shri Devi Prasad, who first joined as the art teacher in the Institute and who had been a student of Shri Nand Lal Bose at Shantiniketan, recalls those days with nostalgia.
Awaking early in the morning, the entire school community, consisting of its students and teachers, would undertake an hour's safai (cleanliness) of the entire premises, including class rooms, dormitories, buildings, grounds, latrines. Time for bathing, washing clothes, and attending to personal cleanliness followed. The community then assembled for prayers, after which there was breakfast. Three hours of Sharir Shram (manual labour) formed an integral and perhaps the most important part of the curriculum. Here too, students and teachers worked together whether in the fields, or the spinning shed, or later, when the subject was introduced, in the mechanical engineering shed.
Study periods would be in the afternoons, after lunch and rest. No textbooks were followed, but all that was taught was related to the work done in the morning-, not just maths or economics, but science, social studies, language, literature, also, would be based on the work done. A session of games, in which students and teachers participated, helped to build up an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation. At about 6.30 p.m. the whole Ashram community would meet for prayers. When Gandhiji was there he would always attend and on occasions, he would give a talk after prayers.
At times music and drama after dinner rounded off the day providing the children with opportunities of self-expression. Mention must be made of the Kala Bhavan at Sevagram where every effort was made to link art with life and for the child to be able to express himself.
The school functioned on a democratic pattern with students taking decisions on day to day functioning. Not only was there an aam sabha (general assembly) in the class, there was one in the school as well. The functioning school democracy provided students ample opportunity to learn through real life situations. Devi Bhai recounts one occasion when the children were determined to punish a habitual late-comer to the class and meetings, and were unanimous in their decision to 'execute' him, thus placing the teacher in charge in a quandary. He had no desire to impose his views on the children, nor did he wish that they go ahead with their horrifying decision. So, he suggested that he too face the same punishment, as he was often guilty of being late. Agitated discussions led the students to realize the enormity of the consequences of the punishment they had so innocently meted out and students came to the conclusion that he should be forgiven this time.
Safai (Cleaning) too, in the way it was done at the Anand Niketan School, was raised to an artistic experience. In a special class entitled Safai Vigyan, safai became a fine art. Techniques of how to make sweeping more effective by a mere twist of the hands, was taught. Simple implements were designed to scoop up the dirt so that not a trace of it remained. The sparkling cleanliness of the place led Shri Kishorilal Mashruwalla to once remark: "At this rate, we'd be putting flower vases in the latrines."