Spinning Selfhood: The Story of Gandhi Bhawan, Delhi University
The Gandhian ideals of self-reliance and the search for individuality in education are embodied in a lesser-known institution of DU, known as the Gandhi Bhawan located in North Campus. Read to know more about this unexplored marvel.
Clad in the stench of the colonial past, of this country the Indian education system has been relying on a westernised version of its national reality for as long as one hundred years now. We study Louis Fischer and rely on Rachel Bespaloff to garner high marks in examinations. In times of our own articulately accepted and violently detested identity crisis as a nation, the University of Delhi (DU) took the foundation of Gandhi Bhawan under its esteemed wing and embarked forth, on a long journey, of understanding and living by the principles of the man and the the ‘institution’ who contributed to find something we can call our own.
The Gandhi Bhawan, located at the Chhatra Marg in North Campus, is a centre that dedicates its efforts and resources to studying the words and
works of the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Yoga and meditation training programmes that are organised at the Bhawan for
varying durations become poignant in the fast-paced lifestyles we are used to today. With participants from across the borders and experts like Dr. Surakshit Goswami, Shri Gopal Krishan, Dr. M.L. Chawla, and many others have been present to provide their perspectives and skills on disciplines like Yoga.
Not only is the emphasis laid on grooming individuals through meditative means, but the Bhawan also highlights the importance of breaking from the private to march into the public. Swachhata Pakhwadas have been conducted in the year 2017, bringing the management committees, the Municipal Corporation, and the students to the streets in solidarity to clean the campus. During the cleanliness drives, they illuminate the general public on the integral nature of sanitation and hygiene.
The mention of Gandhi may have varied, troubling, and even triggering connotations on our critical mindsets, but there are dimensions to the character of the man who unified a nation through certain shared ideals. One such ideal was of self-reliance that our own ministers bank on for votes time and again, but it is the course in Charkha spinning at Gandhi Bhawan that brings selfhood home. Inaugurated on 11th October 2017, the course is taught by Ms. Sita Bimbrahw, a retired Hindi professor from Kamala Nehru College.
Gandhi Bhawan periodically organises summer camps, seminars, and competitions. Various branches of Gandhi Study Circle also prefer this
venue for hosting their events. Whenever the hustle and bustle of North Campus get too much, you can stop by the quaint library of Gandhi Bhavan. More often than not, you will find some reading sessions going on which are delightful to attend.
The foundation of Gandhi Bhawan was laid by the late Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956.
Feature Image Credit: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat
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