A Day for Gandhi

and Years for Ignorance

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, world’s most renowned pacifist, a person, rather a phenomenon, whose mere name is a synonym for non-violence, was born in this month to a Hindu Modh Baniya family in Porbandar. A man who had bound the whole nation by that one string of patriotism and led us to the freedom. From the time he ambidextrously wrote Hind Swaraj in 1909, Mahatma Gandhi meant Swaraj, rule over self and not rule of self. That is Gandhi’s most important inspiration for the youth of today.

Community Health Centre Chinhat

Community Health Centre Chinhat

For almost three and a half decade Gandhi’s message and teaching aimed at minimizing differences between people be it economic, religious or socio-political. He lived his life as an example and did not just preach, walking the talk mostly, demonstrating to India and the world the magic of practicing love and empathy. The world had watched as India pitched its battle for Independence between the 1930s and 1940s. The struggle was so different from all that was known. As Gandhi succeeded in his struggle, the world waited for India to emerge as a different nation and show another way of civilization as practiced by Gandhi.

Gandhi promoted his ideas and principles in his own way which was later recognized as Gandhism that was not merely some political philosophy but a religious outlook, a moral percept, an economic doctrine and a humanitarian world view. Gandhi dedicated his whole life for discovering the truth and held on to it till his last breathe. He tried to learn from his own mistakes and conducted experiments on himself to practice the truth. That was his demons, fears and insecurities, which he considered more important to fight with in his life. He was the first to apply the principle of nonviolence on a large scale in the political field where everyone considered to be violent was the only way to freedom.

When India was all indulged in the fight for the freedom he was the one who gave a thought over the social reforms of the nation and the things began to change when Gandhi looked at the social welfare in his own unique way. His ways were indeed unique, as even in 1894 when he was barely 25 years old, he wanted to help his compatriots in South Africa by saving them from blatant and crushing racial discrimination. At that young age he learned the meaning of fellowship on his own. It was Gandhi’s conviction that individual happiness lies in the happiness of society and vice-versa; and almost all of his pronouncements regarding social welfare showed the same thing.

According to him man was superior to the system he propounded and so he was against the system, which brought about moral degradation of Indian society. The reforms and changes brought by Gandhi for the welfare of society are so significant that we still can witness them at present.

Community Health Centre Chinhat

Community Health Centre

The Community Health Centre and the Basic schools situated on the Kotwali Road Chinhat are one of its examples. Chinhat is a small town in Lucknow, which is well known for its pottery and terracotta work. In 1929 when Gandhi visited this place and he witnessed that there was a lack of basic amenities including medical aid and basic education and he was all grief-stricken to see the scenario. On 28th September he paved the base for the Community Health Centre that started working with a very small team of doctors and medical staff.

Due to the lack of attention of the authorities towards the maintenance of this community centre at that time it eventually turned into the ruins as the time passed by.

Babu Kripal Singh was the person who finally came forward to the rescue of this community centre established by the father of nation and fought for retaining it and keeping it functional. In the year 2013 the authorities finally planned to renovate it after such a long span of time. The renovation work ended on 3rd of April and the premises of this Community Health Centre became anew. The medical staff was increased and the medical facilities provided were also improved.

Dr. Anshuman Srivastava, one of the senior doctors, has been working here since 2013 after the renovation took place. He basically belongs to Lucknow and completed his MBBS from Era Medical College Lucknow. After being asked about his career goals he says that the welfare of the poor and needy people in the society is his ultimate goal. He says, “My father who is a pediatrician was the only source of inspiration that inspired me to pursue the medical services as a profession. So I aspired to be a doctor than doing any other job as that was the profession, which could let me reach out and help that unfortunate class of society who doesn’t even get the basic health services. After completing my MBBS I had been offered so many Jobs that seemed promising in terms of money and reputation in career but I chose to go for BHMS as I had already decided to do some favor to the needy ones and providing medical aid to them is the ultimate thing I could do in terms of social work.”

He was earlier posted at Community health center Malhaur, Chinhat and got transferred here in 2013. The building was completely nonfunctional initially when he was appointed here. There were barely four members including doctors in the staff and the number of patients was around 15 to 20 a day. The Chief Medical Officer later looked into the issue and took initiative for the renovation of this health center. At present the medical staff is taking care of around 200 patients a day with the strength of 10 members.

According to Dr. Anshuman the working conditions are not up to the mark as the staff is less in number and it becomes very tough to handle such number of patients daily. It is the medical staff currently working here with such deliberation and dedication that made it possible to meet the requirements. Talking more on the system and planning he says, “We schedule meetings at certain intervals of time. We execute various programs like various vaccinations programs, nutritional programs, providing maternity facility etc. We are responsible for advocating them and making it sure it reaches out to public.”

Highly neglected school which was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi

Highly neglected school which was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi

The basic school for boys nearby also had undergone a makeover last year and the renovation was completed by 2nd October 2014. On the other hand in the girls’ campus that is adjacent to the health centre, one of the two buildings is completely nonfunctional and the other building is barely serving the purpose. The walls of the classrooms are all naked, as the cement plaster has fallen apart. The abandoned structure hardly has the strength to stand tall and is about to hit the ground. Cow dung and wild grass has covered most of the floor area and the teachers and students has got nothing to do except waiting for commencement of renovation that is proposed to be started soon by the concerned authorities.

Temple of knowledge pleading for attention

Temple of knowledge pleading for attention

It’s always overwhelming to see the changes made for the development and welfare of society but the span of time to witness one is the factor that turns the gratification into dismay. The present government finally understood the agonies people were going through. The Chief Minister, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav eventually broke the ice and he himself intervened into this issue. Following the suits of Gandhi he has a profound vision for the welfare of society. Be it the empowerment of women or to uplift the economically weaker section by various projects he has done a commendable work so far.


Jaydeep Ghosh

(Published in The Lucknow Observer, Volume 2 Issue 19, 5th October 2015)

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