When Kasturba Gandhi, Gandhiji’s noble and true partner died in jail at the age of 75 on Mahasivrathri Day – 22nd February 1944 the country decided to keep alive her memory by raising a memorial fund of Rs. 75 lakhs, but the collections soared high and a purse of Rs. 1 Crore 30 lakhs collected was presented to Gandhiji on his birthday, 2nd October 1944 at Sevagram by late Smt.
Sarojini Naidu. In April 1945 Gandhiji turned this fund into Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust with the object “to serve the women and children of smallest villages-not more than of 2000 population, through the main activities of education, health, maternity and medical aid, cottage industries and moral and social upliftment”.
He also stressed that ‘the work must be organized by women only’. A Board of 23 trustees at the apex, the executive committee and one women representative (Agent) in each state wedded to constructive work to administer and organize the work, were selected by him. The Agent in each state was to select and train good gramsevikas and through them organize the work in villages of their branches.
The plan and method was framed by Gandhiji and Thakkar Bappa who were its first Chairman and General Secretary respectively of the Trust. Later on Sardar Patel and Sri G.V. Mavalankar placed it on a firm footing as its Chairman and General Secretary respectively.
The day at the Trust starts with Sarva Matha Prarthana, followed by daily chores. The Trust works towards keeping up the ideals of the Mahatma and celebrates all national festivals apart from Kasturba Vardhanti, Gandhi Jayanthi and Vardhanti.
The Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Hyderabad Branch is aware of the deteriorating values in our society at present. It is only at the developing stage that one can hope to mould the character of an individual. With this in mind, the Kastura Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Hyderabad branch has taken upon itself the task of promoting the teachings of the Mahatma in Schools both Government and Private, on a regular basis.
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