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Mahatma Gandhi’s Influence Beyond his Guiding Principles

Today when the world is striving toward self-reliance and sustainability, Mahatma Gandhi’s life’s work sets forth a great example.

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October 1, 2022

On Mahatma Gandhi’s 153rd birth anniversary, Nisarg Foundation remembers him. For us, his influence goes beyond being a guiding principle. His life was a rare example where the philosophy of a person and his actions were one. Gandhi Ji teaches us to be the change we want to see in the world. He leads not by sermon but by being an example. His talisman asks an individual to evaluate one’s actions based on their impact on the poorest of the poor. This talisman is the benchmark of the impact we envision through our work. Gandhi Ji’s principles of social welfare, equality, and truth are what guide us in our pursuit to serve the artisans and farmers of our nation. Gandhi Ji personifies a path, which is difficult, as it is the path of service and truth. He promotes decentralisation through the development of village industries. Inspires self-reliance. And above all emphasises the truthfulness of an honest day’s work. A quality that is best reflected in the Indian MSME sector.

“Today when the world is striving toward self-reliance and sustainability, Mahatma Gandhi’s life’s work sets forth a great example. His use and promotion of hand-spun Khadi, a fabric with a low carbon footprint and immense versatility makes him an ideal for generations to come.

His insistence to repair and re-use promotes the ideas of a sustainable circular economy. It is no surprise that Gandhi Ji’s Charkha has become a symbol of self-reliance and sustainability. It is for this humble charkha that he had said, “If we want the millions to earn a few paises by doing honest and honourable work, the only possible instrument to present them with, in our country, is the gentle and graceful spinning wheel.” With the term “Handmade” being a value-adding adjective, be it paper, soap, spices, etc. one can’t help but appreciate Gandhi Ji’s timeless vision.

Gandhi Ji once said that “In modern terms, it is beneath human dignity to lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine. I want every individual to become a full-blooded, fully developed member of society. The villages must become self- sufficient. I see no other solution if one has to work in terms of ahimsa.” These words are the foundation of the Indian Artisanal and handicraft sector. It is true that the Indian MSME sector is the only one that can support our billion-plus populace. It has the potential to set a global example of sustainable growth and a responsible circular economy. To showcase that in a meta world, a handmade piece of cloth can go a long way.

Never a day goes by when we do not remember him. We are humbled to serve the nation where Mahatma Gandhi was born. A nation built upon his ideals of non-violence, freedom, equality, and religious tolerance. Today on his birth anniversary, we celebrate his life and his message.

Manasvi Mudgal