By Rajni Bakshi
Bapu Kuti, at Sewagram Ashram, Wardha, is the dust hut which used to be Mahatma Gandhi's final domestic. part a century after Bapu was once killed, the Kuti is alive with gatherings of people that percentage his goals. they don't name themselves 'Gandhians'. but, as they look for the ideas to the numerous difficulties of recent India, those activists locate themselves coming to a similar conclusions as had Gandhi. during this assortment, Rajni Bakshi explores the area and lives of twelve such those that have grew to become their backs on profitable professions to embark on a look for sensible and humane methods of political and social transformation, rooted within the religion that new India with prosperity for all will be outfitted at the strengths of cooperation and neighborhood.
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The stoic perseverance of the starving protesters gave the Sangathan more prestige in the eyes of bystanders who might not have been very impressed by the 1 May rally, a few months earlier. The Sangathan succeeded in also widening the issue by emphasizing that poor wages also mean poor purchasing power. On the sixth day of the hunger strike, the shopkeepers and traders of Bhim held a meeting and declared their support for the dharna of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan. Their threat to observe a bandh the next day had the desired effect.
They realized that only collective solutions could help build a better tomorrow. The success of the Mazdoor Kisan Kirana had sent their imagination and energies soaring over uncharted realms. Much more now seemed possible. Why not devote this confidence to tackling corruption? This was the obstacle which uniformly thwarted the simplest aspirations. Under the Jawahar Rozgar Yojna every panchayat received over a lakh rupees annually, directly from the Central government. Why couldn’t the people of each panchayat collectively compel the local officials to account for these funds?
Now, as we passed through the Kuti, none of this needed saying. We walked a few score yards to a long hall at one end of the Sewagram Ashram. There the first national convention of the Rural Workers Campaign was about to begin. About 300 activists, representing a wide variety of political action groups, nongovernmental organizations and trade unions, had assembled to launch an ambitious campaign in November 1995. Together they hoped to fight for the rights of India’s rural labour force. This task has never been easy.