On the 10th of April 2017, GITAM School of Gandhian Studies observed the Centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha at Champaran – his first major foray into public life in India. Exactly one hundred years ago, a bright barrister at law landed at a remote village plagued by poverty. He had returned to his homeland after years abroad, full of ideas ahead of his time and a heart moved to the core by the sufferings of millions of Indians. The first satyagraha for the indigo farmers of Champaran was one small step for M.K.Gandhi but one giant leap for a nation enslaved for centuries. It was the beginning of an incredible journey which transformed Mohandas into the Mahatma and culminated in the creation of a free and glorious India.
Dr. A. Chakrapani, Chairman, A.P. Legislative Council was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The occasion was also graced by Dr. Savita Singh, Former Director, Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti, Sri. C.S. Rao, President, Praja Spandana, Dr. M.V.V.S. Murthi, President, GITAM, Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao, Chancellor, GITAM University and Prof. M.S. Prasada Rao, Vice Chancellor, GITAM University, among other dignitaries.
As part of the Champaran Satyagraha Centenary Celebrations, the students of GITAM School of Gandhian Studies, under the guidance of Dr.B.Nalini, the Director-in-Charge, conducted a field survey on the present day conditions of farmers in the Rythu Bazaars of Visakhapatnam City. A thought-provoking documentary film titled “Farmers Then and Now” was made, based on this survey, juxtaposing the conditions of farmers in Champaran in 1917 with the challenges faced by farmers in India today.
The team involved in creating the documentary is as follows: