Sunanda Gandhi: A Mothers’ Day Tribute

When he introduced himself as the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi to his nurse, her instantaneous response that she was the queen of England!  This began a courtship that led to their marriage and a life filled with love, laughter and song which my brother, Tushar and I have had the privilege to share in with our parents, Arun & Sunanda.

Sure, Dad’s social consciousness is part of his roots, his heritage, but Mom’s compassion and the depth of her love and feeling for everyone – family, friend, acquaintance or just some one in need was her strongest character trait.

Sunanda Gandhi with daughter Archana Prasad

It was this trait that made her reach out to a young Swedish couple at the Mumbai airport, fretting over their very sick newly adopted baby as they waited to return home to Sweden. Mom offered them the much needed and immediate medical attention that was instrumental in saving the baby’s life. This episode led her to finding loving homes for over 125 discarded, unwanted, abandoned and/or orphaned children. And years later when these young adults were searching for their identity in a foreign landscape Mom simply offered Dad and herself as their identity.

Six years ago Mom’s frail body ravaged by years of debilitating pain finally gave up and she entered eternal sleep. Dad, Tushar, (my brother), & I decided we would honor her memory and advance her most cherished desire to help as many disadvantaged children as we could. As our very first endeavor we have been lucky to find a kindred spirit in Ms. Anuradha Bhosale who leads AVANI in Kolhapur, India who has made it her life’s work to rescue children from poverty and its resulting ills.

Under the auspices of The Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute Dad and special friends have set up, and we have partnered with my brother’s Mahatma Gandhi Foundation to help Ms. Bhosale and the kids at AVANI get adequate housing, vocational & educational guidance.

To this end we are being helped by local volunteers with means and materials and sustainable architectural and structural help from volunteers informally provided from CalEarth in California.

Surely Mom’s indomitable spirit lives on in her Blessings that are always with us.

In Loving Memory,

Archana Prasad


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