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About Rashtriya Shala

Handwriting Of Gandhiji




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About Rashtriya Shala

During the Period of Non-Violent Movement to liberate the Nation From the clutches of the British Rule, Mahatma Gandhi, in the year 1920 , gave the Nation a novel idea of Non-Cooperation with the Government. He directed the Nation to boycott the government machinery, including Judiciary and educational institutions.Side by side Mahatmaji started  Gujarat Vidyapith at Ahmedabad to impart education on new National Concepts.Similar national educational institutions , on identical concepts were started in different parts of the country. Rastriya Shala is one of such institutions. On February 21, 1921 Rashtriya Shala made its modest beginning and formally started functioning in a rental premises in Rajkot. Shri Lakhajiraj, the Ruler of the state of Rajkot , who was a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi gave 66 thousand sq. yards land at a nominal cost to Rashtriya Shala. It is on this land that the main building of the institution was first constructed , and since 1924 Rashtriya Shala started its various activities in this building.

Aims & Objects :

  Before  Independence

    To impart National Education based on Gandhian Concepts, To train and prepare the students to participate in the struggle for freedom of the country and to volunteer themselves  to render their services for imparticipation and upliftment of the Nation.

  After Independence

  1. To impart Basic-education on Gandhian ideology.
  2. To run various constructive activities as propounded and advocated by Mahatmaji, based on Sarvodaya ideals.

Activities Of Institution The main activities of Rashtriya Shala are three fold :

  1. Educational & Cultural
  2. Khadi and Village Industries
  3. Social Service

Various Activities based on Gandhian concepts, conducted by Rastriya Shala are :-  

   (1) Bal Mandir : Since 1935 for the children of 3 to 6 years age-group a Bal Mandir (Pre-primary) is run with an average attendance of 300 children. As conveyance for the children we have five bullock Carts. Eight trained lady teachers are working in this section.

    (2) Keshav Kumar Mandir : Right from inception of the institution, primary education from Std. I to Std. VII is imparted to the student (both boys and girls) in the age slab of 6 to 13-14 years. Average 700 students take benefits of this division in 2 shifts. Students of Std V, VI and VII are trained to spin on Amber Charakhas of 2 spindles. In this division there are 17 teachers.

    (3) Sangeet Mahavidhyalaya : Classes for imparting vocal and instrumental music and also Bharat Natyam (dancing) right upto degree courses are conducted in this Vidhyalaya started in 1935. About 150 boys and girls derive benefit from this Vidhyalaya. This Vidhyalaya is affiliated with an All India Institution known as Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidhyalaya Mendal. The students are also inspired to take interest in reading books and literature which inspire life.

    (4) Library and Reading Room : In this institution we run Mahadeo Desai Library and Reading Room. Over and above some leading dailies, periodicals and other news and views papers, there are about 5000 books (Gujarati, Hindi, English) in this library mainly on Gandhian ideals.

    (5) Gita-Ramayan Examinations : Knowledge of Gita and Ramayana plays a very important roll in the character building of the new generation To fulfil this noble ideal, examination of Gita and Ramayana are conducted once a year. There are about 40 examination centers in Saurashtra and Gujarat. Nearly three thousand students appears in these examination. A Silver Momento (Shield ) is presented to a center for best performance.

    (6) Khadi Mandir : This activity was started in Rashtriya Shala right from the days when late Shri Narayandasbhai Gandhi settled here in 1935. Production and sale of Khadi is the main activity of this institute. In this Section about 700 spinners spin on 6 spindle Amber Charkha.

    This activity is carried out in Rajkot proper and 9 village of adjoining Padadhari Taluka. The yarn received from the ladies working on these charkhas is sent to 75 to 80 weavers residing in different village of Saurashtra Distract. They weave khadi through Khadi Mandir is of about 15 lakhs of rupees. The same is sold through two Khadi Bhandars - one in Rashtriya Shala premises and the other at Padadhari.

 (7) Amber Parishramalaya (Work-Shed) : Most of the ladies spin on Amber Charkhas at their own residence but for those who cannot afford to purchases an Amber Charkha of may not have enough space to keep and operate in it one's own house there is one Parishramalaya (workshed) since 1961 in Parishramalaya premises, wherein about 60 ladies spin for 7 hours, and each lady gets Rs. 8/- to Rs.10/- per day.

    (8) Patola (Silk Sarees) Weaving cum Training Center : This is a unique activity of the institution. This ancient craftsmanship of Gujarat is preserved by the institution. Not only that, but this section is developed and many innovations are made. Since the beginning of this section in 1951, many new Patola artisans have been trained. At present, 10 persons are working as artisans. About 125 Patolas(silk-sarees) are prepared every years. There is a great demand for these sarees. Patolas are prepared as per orders only.

    (9) Telghat (Oil Extraction) : Since 1935 this section is working, where pure Til oil is extracted from Sesamun Seeds (TAL) Previously crushers were operated by bullocks; but now this process is done by small Rotary motors, certified by Khadi & Village Industries Commission. Annually about forty thousand kgs. Til Oil is produced. There is great demand for this useful item.

    (10) Rentiya -Baras Celebration : Over and above permanent activities, every BHADRA-PADA-KRISHNA PAKSHA-DWADASHI is celebrated as RENTIYA-BARAS. Late Shi Narayandashbhai Gandhi gave this novel idea in the year 1935. From the 67th Birth-Day of Mahatma Gandhi, it has been accepted as a National Program. Gandhi became martyr at the age of 80 days prior to RENTIYA BARAS day. During this period, various programs to propagate and expand the Gandhian ideology through constructive activities are organized. During this period, national leaders, leading personalities wedded to Gandhian and Sarvodaya philosophy and social leaders are invited to gave their studied discourses.

    (11) Bapu Upawas Khand : (A Room where Mahatmaji was on Fast-upto-death.)
During the historical Rajkot Civil Disobedience Movement of 1939, in order to change the heart of Shree DharmadraSinhji, the then Ruler of Rajkot, Mahatmaji had gone on fast in a room in Rashtriya Shala. This Room is preserved as a National Monument.

    (12) Special Feature of Rashtriya Shala : Very correctly Acharya Shri Kakasaheb Kalelkar had compared Rashtriya Shala to a nursery of plants. Over and above multifarious activities of the institution itself, a few other institutions were nurtured here in Rashatriya Shala premises. Now they carry on their various activities in the buildings of their own. Shri Kadvibai Virani Kanya Vidhyalaya (Girl's School) , Andh Mahila Vikas Gruh, a School for Deaf and Dumb, Saurashtra Animal welfare Board were started here at present are functioning in there own building in the city. Even today institution like Saurashtra Rachnatmak Samiti, Saurashtra Hindi Prachar Samiti, Harijan Seva Sangh, Nasha Bandhi Mandal, Sarvodaya Seva Sangh, Gram-Shilp are also carrying on their activities in the Rashtriya Shala Campus. In this way Rashtriya Shala may be called a complex of Sarvodaya and Gandhian activities.

    A number of educational, cultural, social and religious institutions of the city arrange their various functions in the Central Hall and also in the spacious Range Darshan ( Open air theatre ) of Rashtriya Shala. Thus, Rashtriya Shala is always humming with different activities.

               Board of Trustees

1.  Shree Purushottam N. Gandhi Rajkot (President)
2.  Shree Amruitlal V. Jasani
3.  Shree Chhaganlal N. Joshi Rajkot
4.  Shree Lallubhai  M. Sheth Savarkundla
5.  Shree Jayaben V. Shah Rajkot
6.  Shree Natvarlal B. Jasani Mumbai
7.  Shree Vijyalaxmi P. Gandhi Rajkot
8.  Shree Vittaldas J. Ahya Rajkot
9.  Shree Narendra N. Anjaria Rajkot  (Managing Trustee)
10. Shree Devendrabhai Desai Rajkot
11. Umakantbhai Mankad Rajkot

Managing Committee

1. Shree Chhaganlal N. Joshi
2. Shree Pranlal M. Joshi
3. Shree Himatlal H. Sheth
4. Shree Rasiklal C. Mehta
5. Shree Narendra N. Anjaria

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