Udupi, Oct 03, 2016: Speaking at the inaugural function of the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations organised by the District Administration and Udupi City Municipal Council at Bhujanga Park, Udupi DC Dr. T. Venkatesh, said on Oct 2, Sunday that people should follow at least some ideals and principles of Mahatma Gandhi instead of merely singing his praises during Gandhi Jayanti.
It was at the Bhujanga Park that Gandhiji had addressed a public meeting during his only visit to Udupi on February 25, 1934.
DC Venkatesh said that celebrations should be meaningful and not symbolic. Gandhiji had given lot of importance to cleanliness. The Union government launched the Swachh Bharat campaign in the country two years ago to promote cleanliness and sanitation not just in urban but also rural areas.
Udupi district had the distinction of being the seventh clean district in the country. It was already in the select club of five districts in the State which were declared Open Defecation Free. Udupi municipality had a few days ago bagged the Open Defecation Free tag. It is the only city among those with population between one lakh and five lakh in the State to have bagged the tag. While these deserved laurels for the district are considered, it was essential that these standards were maintained, he said.
Meenakshi Madhava Bannanje, president of Udupi City Municipal Council, said that Gandhiji had given the message of truth, non-violence and cleanliness. It was essential that people followed these ideals. Delivering a lecture on “Gandhi and service”, Mahabaleshwar Rao, writer, said that Gandhiji used to listen to the problems of all people without any discrimination. When he worked against his own principles, he used to punish himself by fasting.
Gandhiji camped for four months at Noakhali in the Chittagong Division of the then Bengal province trying to douse communal violence in October-November 1946. Gandhiji firmly believed that the country’s progress in the true sense could be achieved when there was progress in the villages, he said.
Sheela K. Shetty, Vice President of Udupi Zilla Panchayat, P. Yuvaraj, former President of Udupi City Municipal Council, and others were present.
Later, members of the Scouts and Guides undertook a cleanliness drive in and around the Bhujanga Park.