Natwar Thakkar, a Gandhian who is realising the Mahatma's dream

Posted By: Staff
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Mokokchung (Nagaland), Jan 18 (ANI): Profit and gain are driving forces for millions across the world. But there are some who are different. One such person is Natwar Thakkar.

Thakkar, a Gujarati by birth but a Gandhian by choice, started the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram in 1955 in Nagaland's Mokokchung district with the objective of promoting national and emotional integration and development of the region.

He has been offering selfless service to the Chuchuyimlang village for the last 55 years and has undertaken many activities to promote socio- economic development.Recently he was conferred a 'Life Time Service to Naga People' award by the Chuchuyimlang Senso Mongdang.

Under the guidance of Thakkar, the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram undertook progressive work like vocational training for school dropouts and physically handicapped youth.

Speaking to ANI, Thakkar said: "When I came for the first time, there were hardly 5-6 jeeps. In the village, I came by 1, which was run by a local shopkeeper. All the roads were kuchha, with no bridges, no electricity, and no water supply."

"Another thing is that tremendous stride people have taken in the field of higher education. A large number of people have made entry in to every field of life," he added.

Problems like poor infrastructure, lack of funds and committed workers did not stop him.e opened a daily medical aid clinic without any support and gave Hindi language classes to the underprivileged at the school.

He started libraries, village level industries of Khadi, dairy, sericulture, bee keeping, jaggery have been set up as well.

Infrastructure development like roads, electricity, and communication has improved manifolds.

The activists of Nagaland Christian Society once targeted Thakkar and made extortion demands.

A major attempt was also made on his life. At that time people of Mokokchung district stood by him.

"Same village has given me a more precious award, which is not literally in kind but in action. This was at the time, of every difficulty I faced when militants demanded money of me," Thakkar said.

"I said that I can't, I am not a supporter of non-violence, so I cant make calls with you. At that time, the villagers stood like a rock by me," he added.

For the last 55 years he has been trying to build a bond between the Naga people and the rest of the nation.

His latest contribution is the setting up of Rural Extension Centre of RIeLIT Computer Institute at Chuchuyimlang. This will provide basic computer knowledge to the people at minimum fees.

Thakkar has been on the board of various committees like the National Literacy Mission, Northeastern Zonal Committee of CAPART, Weaker Section Expert Committee and many others.

Numerous national and state level awards have been conferred on him by various organizations for his efforts to create a non violent and a better society. (ANI)

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