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Visakhapatnam: Nudging students to follow Mahatma Gandhi's footsteps
Former V-C of Adikavi Nannaya University (AKNU) M Mutyala Naidu regrets reading the autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth,’ in the later part of his academic life
Visakhapatnam: Years back, when former Vice-Chancellor of Adikavi Nannaya University M Mutyala Naidu flipped through the pages of 'The Story of My Experiments with Truth,' little did he know that the book would leave an indelible impression on him.
The retired Professor regrets reading the autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the later part of his academic life. "The book has certainly changed my perception towards life. Wish people read it at a younger age so that their perception too changes for good," opines Mutyala Naidu.
At a time when people confine Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations to a day by paying floral tributes to Bapuji or delivering lectures, Mutyala Naidu feels that a step beyond that would aid in moulding the youth as agents of change.
The former V-C says that students should not be deprived of deriving benefits from the book in their formative years. It is the same reason that made him come up with an idea of giving the book to 5,000 students in Telugu and English. "The target is to reach out to the first year Intermediate and under graduation students in six mandals in and around Chodavaram, Visakhapatnam district," elaborates Mutyala Naidu.
The free distribution of the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi that began on the occasion of the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will continue till January 30, marking Bapuji's death anniversary. "The endeavour goes beyond presenting the book as a gift. With a network of teachers, the students will be nudged to read the autobiography with dedication and complete it by 40 days as we follow Lord 'Ayyappa Swami mandala diksha', lasting for a similar period," reasons the retired Professor. After 40 days, teachers will follow up whether the students have read the book and their understanding level.
The former V-C says that counselling will also be a part of the 'gifting drive' as he finds that the present generation is technology-driven. "Not many appear to possess a book-reading habit these days. The idea is also to revive the reading habit among the younger generation, help them understand its significance, encourage them to value truth and non-violence and shape them as 'Satyagrahis'," he concludes.