To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the rural development department has planned several initiatives in the next one year. It will organise a string of events at those places visited by Gandhi, repair and upgrade Hutatma Smarak, endorse goods sold by the Maharashtra Khadi and Village Industries Board.
Officials from the rural development department said that it was a part of the Union government’s plan to keep the Mahatma’s legacy alive and pass it on to the next generation.
For this, a committee was set up by the central government, which had Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as its member. “The committee is scheduled to meet on May 2 during which the state government has to submit its action plan for the initiatives,” said an official familiar with the details.
“The programmes also include drives for cleanliness and open defecation-free cities, initiatives to ensure no child is deprived of primary- and secondary-school education and an event related to women and child development,” said an official from the department.
In April 1936, Gandhi made home the village of Shegaon, which he later named as Sevagram or village of service. He stayed there until 1946 and many important decisions pertaining to India’s freedom struggle had been taken here.
Another official said that a high-powered committee had been set up to submit the plan to the Union government and oversee its implementation.
The committee is headed by chief secretary with officials from the departments, including Industries, Urban Development, School Education, Social Justice, Women and Child Development and Rural Development.
The respective departments are expected to conduct the programmes finalised so far. “Besides those listed, the departments have been asked to see if any other programmes or fresh initiatives could be included in it”, said the official.