2800 students learnt about Gandhi’s life through a ‘Gandhi Pariksha’. The exam was designed by Navajivan Trust and will travel to other schools as part of the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations.
When was the last time that a younger family member came forward to know more about the ‘Father of the Nation’? Navajivan Trust, a publishing house initiated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1923, has come up with a creative idea to encourage students to enquire into the life of Bapu. This initiative is part of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations. The Trust approached Bopal’s Delhi Public School with the idea to host the first ‘Gandhi Pariksha’, an exam based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Pupils had three days to refer to the abridged version of Gandhi’s autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth before appearing for the exam.
The test was conducted on April 30, 2018, and more than 2800 students appeared for it. The Managing Trustee of Navajivan Trust, Vivek Desai, who is also a senior photographer, was present to felicitate the toppers of the Gandhi Pariksha on July 24. He said, “Till now, only Gujarat Vidyapith, under the Department of Gandhian Philosophy, has conducted exams on the life of Gandhi. But this new Gandhi Pariksha for young students is planning to reach more schools in coming time. As a token, each child will be given a special book voucher to purchase books from Navajivan Press.”
Senior crime journalist, Prashant Dayal, who broke the story of the Sohrabuddin encounter case was also present for the morning’s award ceremony. He said, “People have a lot of misconceptions about Bapu. Like, some believe the myth about Bapu being the cause of the India-Pakistan partition. A well-learned generation with clear philosophies will stay away from these kinds of rumours.”
The Principal of DPS Bopal, Surendra Sachdeva, expressed that “the purpose of organising Gandhi Pariksha in DPS was to expose children to the four admirable qualities of Bapu – Truth, Nonviolence, Self Governance (Democracy) and renouncing pleasure – at a tender age.”
Students from the 4th through 10th grades participated in the exam. A few of them had even read the detailed version of the autobiography. After the award ceremony while personally interacting with the students, 9th-grade student Yash Mehta, who secured the third rank in the Pariksha, shared, “Gandhi always worked by himself. While preparing for the exam, I realised that he is kind, helping and honest.” Ailanisha Purohit, who came third in the exam, said, “Gandhi managed to maintain his qualities even while going through hardships. The paper was well-designed and consisted of both detailed and multiple choice questions.”
The first ranker of the Gandhi Pariksha, Vatsala Sinha, said, “My mother supported me a lot to understand the ornamental words from the book and making notes for remembering the dates (sic). There were even some incidents shared by my brother that helped me in understanding more about Mahatma.”
Besides these three students, the top-scoring students at the Pariksha were Soham Acharya, Manas Tanavde, Nehal Gupta, Yash Sethi and Om Makadia.
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