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Living the Mahatma legacy

Ranchi mom and entrepreneur Kavita Yadav can well be the face of the 21st century Gandhian.

Governor Syed Ahmed, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti celebrations hosted by Jharkhand State Khadi and Village Industries Board at Morabadi grounds, and in the presence of chief minister Arjun Munda and other dignitaries, honoured Kavita as the best entrepreneur for her three-year-old spice brand Padosan Masale.

Kavita, the mother of three school-going children, is an accounts graduate from Marwari College and stays in Kathal More on Ranchi outskirts.

The lady showed gumption in starting her enterprise with a bank loan of Rs 15 lakh under Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).

In just three years, she went on to earn a profit of Rs 10 lakh and give jobs to 45 youths.

Kavita apart, the list of those feted had the best of low-key yet self-reliant achievers.

Silk producer Jaimuni Soi of West Singhbhum, silk weaver Rita Munda of Muri, cotton weaver Sukhdei Devi of Garhwa and tailor Punam Kumari Choudhary of Jamshedpur were some among them.

Bankers were also honoured on the occasion. Bank of India was declared the top loan provider under PMEGP for helping as many as 700 industrial units in the state with loans.

Giving away the awards, Ahmed, who termed Gandhi as aman ka paigambar (prophet of peace), asked everyone to follow his four-fold path of truth, non-violence, self-control and self-discipline. He added that the humble hand-spun khadi was still relevant for the Indian economy.

Munda, in his address, spoke on the relevance of the Mahatma’s philosophy. “Even China has adopted the economic model described in Gandhian philosophy,” he said.

“Education for all, sustainable development and sustainability through khadi are basic Gandhian principles. We should pay our respect to the father of the nation by making his principles a living example in our lives,” he added.

Assembly Speaker C.P. Singh in his address exhorted Swadeshi. “Take an oath to use Indian products,” he said.

Earlier, the khadi board signed MoUs with Indian postal department and Life Insurance Corporation of India to start Gramin Dak Bima Yojana and Swablamban Pension Yojana, respectively.

So-called Gandhian protests on the sidelines of the event also garnered curious eyeballs. All Jharkhand Paramedical Association agitated for regularisation of services of contract nurses and paramedical staffers. Jai Prakash Andolankari Morcha staged a dharna demanded pension and honour to those who had supported Jai Prakash Narayan. Jharkhand Pichhra Varg Sangharsh Morcha demanded an increase in reservation for backward segments from 14 to 27 per cent. Labourers staged a dharna asking for better pay.

Gandhi Jayanti and Shastri Jayanti — October 2 is also the birth anniversary of the nation’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri — celebrations were also held at Heavy Engineering Corporation. State Institute of Rural Development hosted an innovative T-shirt painting contest on Gandhi.