A young woman, definitely in her 20s, is glued to her computer screen. Her deft hands at the keyboard work around the various tabs open on the internet browser. She mulls awhile at them, and then, she is diligently at the keys again.
This may give an impression that Megha Todi, 25, is parked at her desk in a multi-national corporate firm on a Monday, but she is, in fact, at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad working as a research associate on Gandhi Heritage Portal – a website for Mahatma Gandhi.
Todi isn’t the only youngster working for the portal, or related future projects. There are several other twenty-somethings, who have given a miss to lucrative jobs to work at the Gandhi Ashram.
Those who have long been associated with the Ashram call it a welcome change; an introduction of fresh perspective, even.
“There is a perception that only old people work and are seen at the Ashram, but now, especially after the launch of the Gandhi Heritage Portal, a healthy mix of the old and new (generations) is working here,” says Virat Kothari, head of the IT department for the portal. In the team of 30 working on the portal, only six are above 40 years of age.
The young brigade, however, isn’t limiting their work on Gandhi’s philosophy to the job. While the youngsters translate, interpret and make available the resulting content online, a part of the preaching also gets imbibed in their life. “Gandhi was someone who always emphasised on the truth – Satyagraha. I’ve often followed his footsteps, when I want someone to agree with me.
I’ve, in fact, observed fasts on several occasions to push forth my viewpoint,” says Kiran Dodia, 24, an alumnus of Gujarat Vidyapith.
Dodia’s colleague, Darshana Sonara, might have read Gandhi’s autobiography – ‘My Experiments with Truth’ – to get admission in Gujarat Vidyapith, but she now holds learnings from the book close to the heart. “One preaching I hold close to my heart is to not lose focus – whatever may be the circumstance. When he fought for India’s freedom, he didn’t fight for himself but for the others,” she said.