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 40: To Cling to A Belief

As the world prepares to observe yet another Environment Day, our thoughts turn to Mahatma Gandhi, who, without ever using any of the modern jargons, was perhaps the greatest 'environmentalists' of our times. Gandhi knew that unless man lived in harmony with nature and unless he stopped exploiting nature he would certainly tread the path of destruction. In his own way, he talked of conservation and sustainability. His frame of non-violence comprehended non-violence to nature as much as to man.
In this column, we would like to take you twenty two years back in time, to a little village called Gopeshwar nestling in the Himalayas which saw the birth of a great movement - the Chipko.
Chipko! When the District Magistrate first heard the word, he smirked. But he could not laugh it away, knowing the strength of the Dashauli Gram Swarajya Sangh of Gopeshwar. The chief aim and objective of the Sangh was to stop the abuse of forests of Uttarakhand by contractors from plains and instead, use the forest resources for giving productive job opportunities to the local people.
It is no surprise that Chipko should be inspired by Gandhian ideals. The leader of the Chipko movement was Chandi Prasad Bhatt who belongs to the Gandhian school of thought.
The Symon Company of Allahabad, a manufacturer of sports goods, had been allotted some ash trees from the Mangal Forest which was barely 13 kilometers away from Gopeshwar. The Sangh resolved to fight for the rights of the people. Each passing day brought near the confrontation when the agents of the Symon Company were to come and take away the sanctioned trees.
In spite of warnings from the top, the policies and plans being pursued in the forests remained the same. After reading newspaper reports of the Indian floods due to rapid felling of trees, Miss Slade (Gandhiji's well known British disciple Mira Behn) wrote in an English daily of New Delhi expressing her concern. But who was there to listen?
In April 1973, a public meeting was held in the Dashauli Gram Swarajya Sangh's courtyard to decide on direct action against the Symon Company. The question was the same in every village, "How can we save the trees from being axed ?" That was the moment Chandi Prasad had been waiting for. "You can save the forest by cling to the trees, and dare them to let their axes fall on your backs, " he said. Startled at his suggestion one of the villagers exclaimed, "Can we really save such a big forest from being felled?" Chandi Prasad did not say anything. He was well aware that ultimately the success of the Chipko action depended on them. It took a while, but the meeting finally accepted the suggestion, though the village women sitting in the back kept laughing at the word "Chipko". Little did they know then that, one day, they the women, would have a great hand in saving the by holding them in their protective embrace.

Adapted from Chipko Movement
by Anupam Mishra and Satyendra Tripath