Seminar on Gram Shilpi: Empowerment of Rural Women


As part of the Gandhi Exchange Programme (GEP), the Samiti organized a seminar on “Gram Shilpi: Empowerment of Rural Women” in Gandhi Darshan on June 11, 2018. The objective was to give an insight to different facets of the life of Mahatma Gandhi. 30 Participants from Vijapur Taluka of Gujarat state, from the Gujarat Vidyapeeth, took part. The visit was also the part of ‘Gram Shilpi Programme’ of Gujarat University. Shri Jaydeep was the coordinator in behalf of the concerned University.

The seminar began with the orientation given by Ms. Geeta Shukla (Research Officer, GSDS), on the background and the activities of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti. She began her session by enthralling the interest of visitors with her utmost understanding of the journey of “Mohandas to Mahatma” while keeping the context of Sarvodaya (the universal Uplift or progress of all). She expounded the way the Father of the Nation attained his wisdom and set his gospel about the truth. Ms Shukla further apprised on the stories such as how the act of Raja Harish Chandra inspired Gandhiji to walk his life through the truth, what made him to pledge for living his whole life as Vegetarian, etc.

Ms. Smita Vats founder Director of ITIHAAS gave a consolidated understanding of life of Mahatma. She explained how the presence of two ladies namely Smt Putlibai Gandhi and Smt. Kasturba Gandhi changed and disciplined the way Gandhiji explored the way of life. Like, from his mother, he learned the benefit of Physical Labour, Determination, Discipline and Time Management, etc.

While briefing about the presence of Ba in decisions of Gandhiji, she pointed out that when Ba and Bapu got married they were almost of same age and as a child Kasturba ji always fought for equality which turned Mahatma to understand the equality men-women should have which he carried on her every activity.

She further focused over the peculiarities of using charkha as a symbol of Swaraj by Gandhiji. She said that Charkha was the only single door where rich-poor-male-female could meet, a symbol of Unity. She also explained the scientific significance behind using Charkha, as when we are spinning then our mind, hands and eyes are working in tandem thus as to enhance the motor abilities while keeping a person engaged in meditation. Here the spinner could see the change S/he is creating with every effort thus maintaining optimism in actions leading to self-confidence which was a small step but a basic need for a nation to be built on the belief of Swaraj.

A tour of the GSDS museum and Gandhi Samadhi Rajghat was also undertaken during the programme.