There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot open to them except in the form of bread.”
These words,belonging to the Father of the Nation,Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,were written on a poster at a gathering of 485 little Mahatmas on Mayo Road on Sunday.
The boys between the age group of 4 to 15,who study in various institutions for underprivileged children across the city,were part of a successful attempt to seal a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Three Guinness World Records officials – head of adjudications Andrea Banfi,adjudications manager Lucia Sinigagliesi and adjudicator,India,Nikhil Shukla – kept a keen eye on the attempt and later declared that the children had successfully created a new record. The last record of numerous children dressed as Gandhi at one place at one time was created in Coimbatore in 2010 by 255 children.
One of the youngest Gandhis,Sylvester,looked very tired and was being escorted after the peace walk by his teacher at St George’s School,Bowbazar,Anita Barua. The four-year-old got a seat and looked relieved.
“They came at 8.30 in the morning. After breakfast,they got ready with the costume and make-up,” Barua,who came with 130 students from her school,said.
One such tiny tot when asked for his name,said,”Mahatma Gandhi.” It was not possible to get his real name.
Michael Anthony,founder of Training Resource & Care for Kids (TRACK) – a Kolkata-based NGO,which organised the event – felt this initiative was an attempt to educate these underprivileged children of the values of Mahatma Gandhi. “His philosophies on love,peace and education are very essential in today’s world,” Anthony said.
Gandhiji’s granddaughter Usha H Gokani,who flagged off the walk,said it gave her a lot of happiness to see this initiative in memory of the Mahatma.
Two boys suddenly got in a fight after the programme. A third stopped them and said,”Remove your costume and then fight.”
Maybe Bapu is still there within these future citizens of our country.