Kasturba walked shoulder to shoulder with Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle and encouraged women to take education as early as 1930 so that they became empowered, said MM Gadkari, former president of Gandhi Sevagram Ashram, on Wednesday.
Gadkari was speaking at a daylong festival to celebrate the birth anniversaries of Kasturba Gandhi and social reformer Jyotiba Phule, organized by Maharashtra Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, at Kasturba Bhavan, Bajaj Nagar. Freedom fighter Lila Chitale was present.
Gadkari said Kasturba was a strong yet humble woman and worked in close proximity with freedom fighters. As a popular adage goes, ‘There is a woman behind every successful man’, Kasturba stood behind the Mahatma like a rock all through his life. She inspired women to take education despite facing stiff opposition from the orthodox society of that time, he added.
Surekha Deoghare, former principal of a Kalmeshwar school, started her lecture with a beautiful poetry depicting how humble Kasturba remained though she was the wife of a powerful leader. She was much more than just a wife and mother, Deoghare said.
“She was a doting wife who financially supported her husband for his further studies by selling off her ‘stree dhan’. She set an example of a person liberal in her thoughts,” Deoghare said.
Earlier, ‘Charkha Mandir’ and a public hall named ‘Ba Bapu Muktangan’ was inaugurated by Gadkari and Chitale. In a unique initiative, the organization will conduct a workshop daily in which people can learn to weave on charkha.’