the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action
Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Senior Gandhian Scholar, Professor, Editor and Linguist
Gandhi International Study and Research Institute, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09404955338, 09415777229
Mailing Address- C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur- 208020, Uttar Pradesh, India
Abhay Ashram and Mahatma Gandhi
This ashram was founded by Prafulla Chandra Ghose in 1921 for constructive work. The activities included dying, printing, agriculture and fishery. The readers of Young India are not unaware of this important national institution. Its report of activities for the year 1928 has just been received. It is a record of all-round progress. Its khadi department is its largest activity. Here is the record of its progressively increasing sales: 1924 Rs. 21,822 1926 Rs. 1, 42,960 1925 Rs. 70,620 1927 Rs. 1, 42,820 1928 Rs. 1, 88,091 The total wages distributed were Rs. 70,525 as under: Weavers Rs. 29,492 Spinners Rs. 30,453 Tailors Rs. 7,081 Washer men Rs. 3,494 The work is done through its 23 khadi centres which support 61 whole-time workers controlled by an annually elected board. The capital invested in this activity is Rs. 1, 21,000, of which Rs. 55,000 is a loan from the All-India Spinners’ Association. It has to pay to the banks from which it has the balance of the loan a high rate of interest which amounts to Rs. 5,000 per year. It is therefore up to the public to either pay this interest or to give loans free of interest but on the same terms as the banks advance them. The Ashram is making experiments in dyeing and it claims now to be able “to dye fast colours of uniform shade without the use of any machine.” The report proceeds, “Our khaki which has been fast to sunlight, bleaching and perspiration, we specially recommend to our buyers.” The other activity of the Ashram is national education. It controls 31 primary schools of which 17 are in the district of Dacca, 9 in Tippera and 5 in Bankura, serving 1,058 pupils. It has three schools for secondary education, serving 199 students. The total amount spent on education is Rs. 4,702-9-6. It has also a medical department with an outdoor dispensary, a hospital, a medical school and a Seva Samiti. The dispensary served 3,157 patients, of which 721 were females. The largest number of cases was naturally of malaria, Next comes worms 277 cases and third kalazar. The hospital has 20 beds. 215 patients were admitted during the year under review. The expenses of the dispensary and hospital amounted respectively to Rs. 1,574 and 4,400. The medical school is training 20 students. The main function of the Sevasadan is house to house collection of rice for the maintenance of poor patients in the hospital. The Ashram is not a believer in untouchability or hereditary caste distinctions. It does a little bit of agriculture and produced 200 maunds of paddy in 18 bighas of lands and it grew vegetables enough to last 6 months for the 50 inmates of the Ashram. It has 6 milch cows and 10 buffaloes. An attempt is being made to have a model dairy farm at Dacca. It has libraries at several of its centres. The Ashram collected Rs. 37,000 for its different activities from the public. Altogether it has received donations of one lakh and a half of rupees during the five years of its existence. Its requirements for the next year are Rs. 50,000 for the khadi department and Rs. 50,000 for the other departments. An institution like this should have no difficulty in obtaining necessary funds from a discerning public.