A Trusteeship of Intention

Tushar A. Gandhi Director of Gandhi WorldwideAVANI, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute and Mahatma Gandhi Foundation came together with an intention to serve the children and in doing so serve whom Bapu (Gandhi) held dearest, ‘Poorest of poor and weakest of weak’.

‘Child trafficking’ is a newly coined fancy term for the age old practice of exploiting and abusing the weak and vulnerable. Children the world over are imperilled due to strife, due to vulnerability and due to the abject helplessness of their parents due to extreme poverty.

Bapu had said that “poverty and hunger are the greatest violence against humanity.” This phenomenon exists all over the world but one must start somewhere and since all three organisations have synergistic relationship and AVANI and Anuradha Bhosale are already working amongst children in peril. A trusteeship of intentions was thus formed between the three organisations, AVANI, GWEI and MGF.

AVANI has been active in the field of child and women’s rights since long prior to the establishment of GWEI.

AVANI Indian Human Rights Activist Rescues Child LaborersIn 2008 Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute was formed to address the plight of impoverished children in India and throughout the world, and to raise funds to build the Gandhi Education Center in Kolhapur. Mahatma Gandhi Foundation purchased 5 acres of land in Vashi outside Kolhapur on the Kolhapur Goa Road. AVANI accepted responsibility to manage the Gandhi Education Centre and its day to day activities.

Intentions, actions and responsibilities

  • A secure residence for the girls of AVANI.
  • An education and vocational training centre for girls and boys, an ecologically responsible model of sustainable living and a nucleus for sustainable community service center, serving the needs of the neighbouring communities and villages.
  • A step towards actualising Gandhi’s dream of bringing about true freedom for the communities in the vicinity of the Gandhi Education Center at Vashi.

One more dimension

One more association has been added to help realise the dream shared by the confluence of the trusteeship triumvirate: CalEarth an organisation pioneering affordable, sustainable and people friendly building technology in California has informally loaned several volunteer apprentices to AVANI, GWEI and MGF to help the trusteeship build the first phase of the Gandhi Education Centre’s campus at Vashi.

Thus with four differently capable organisations forming a trust of their abilities, intentions and will the imperilled children of Kolhapur will be able to finally realise their dream of a safe, secure and equitable future, free of deprivation, free of insecurity, free of starvation and free of the danger of being exploited.

A safe passage to a better future is the fundamental intention.

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Tushar A. Gandhi is the great-grandson of M.K. Gandhi.  In addition to serving on several NGO boards, including Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, he is founder of Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, of which he is currently the managing trustee.  In 2005, Tushar Gandhi commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Dandi Kooch (Gandhi’s Salt March) by organising a re-enactment of the 241-mile long walk. He walked the entire stretch and was instrumental in getting the prime minister to declare the route from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi a historic heritage route. He is the author of Let’s Kill Gandhi: A definitive study of the Hindu Fundamentalist plot to assassinate Gandhi.  Tushar lives in Mumbai with his wife Sonal and children Vivan and Kasturi.

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