Around 500 studentsof Mahindra College in Patiala have joined the National Agenda Forum (NAF) in the presence of a field team from Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC). The distinguished academicians of the Universityalong with the students discussed Mahatma Gandhi’s 18-point Constructive Programme and its relevance now. They also talked about their own priorities (in addition to the points from Mahatma Gandhi’s constructive Programme), which should find a place in India’s agenda.The agenda that got the most traction was sanitation. In an open Forum Discussion, the principal of the college, Sangeeta Handatalked about the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in today’s time and advised students to read books on and by Mahatma Gandhi. Along with the Principal Handa, several professors too pledged their support for NAF, calling it a unique initiative that would strengthen participative democracy.
I-PAC launched the NAF as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary year, on 29th June 2018. NAF is a pan-India initiative to resurrect the conversation around Gandhiji’s 18-point Constructive Programme and use it to re-imagine and co-create India’s priorities to formulate an actionable agenda for contemporary India.
Till date – 50,000+ youth associates from over 4,000 colleges, 225 distinguished personalities from 6 countries and 20 states, and 283 civil society organizations spread across 346 districts have joined the ever-growing NAF ecosystem.
The National Agenda Forum has garnered support from a diverse group of people and organizations, which includes:
• UNESCO – MGIEP supports NAF’s effort in setting the people's agenda of promoting peace and sustainable development based on Gandhiji's 18-point Constructive Programme
• ArunManilal Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson), Tushar Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson), and Neelam Parekh (Mahatma Gandhi’s great-granddaughter)
• Gandhians, such as, Prof. Ramjee Singh (Freedom fighter and a pioneer in study of Gandhian thought in India), Dr. Ravindra Kumar (Padma Shri Awardee, Sardar Patel National Awardee), Natwar Thakkar (Padma Shri awardee, Jamnalal Bajaj awardee), Dr. D Chelladurai(Dean, Gandhi Research Foundation), Baji Mohammad (Freedom fighter), Prakash Amte (Baba Amte’s son)
• Gandhian organizations, such as, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Sarvodaya Ashram, Gandhi Mission International Society of India, etc.
• Recipients of civilian honors, such as,ShrimatiTeejan Bai (Artist, Padma Bhushan awardee), Mr. Rajan Mishra (Indian classical singer, Padma Bhushan awardee), Dr. BrahmDutt (Padma Shri Awardee for working for lepers), Dr. Usha Kiran Khan (Padma Shri awardee and Sahitya Academy Award winner), etc.
• Eminent public servants, such as, Mr. RanjitShekharMooshahary (Ex-Governor of Meghalaya), Justice NN Mathur (Former Judge, Rajasthan and Gujarat High Courts)
• Sports personalities, such as, Ms. Mary Kom (Boxer, Olympic Medalist), Ms. BabitaPhogat (Wrestler, Commonwealth Games Medalist), PT Usha (Track Athlete, Asian Games Medalist), Mr. IM Vijayan (Former Captain, Indian Football Team), Ishwwar Pandey (Cricketer), etc.
• Entertainment personalities, such as, Mr. Piyush Mishra (Actor, Screenwriter, Lyricist), ShyamRangeela (Mimicry Artist), ShibaniKashyap (Singer), Raza Murad (Actor), etc.
Over the next couple of weeks, I-PAC plans to reach out to students in 750 colleges and 320 civil society organizations across 21 states, during our field visits.
The voting is still open; citizens can continue to become a part of NAF by logging on to http://www.indianpac.com/naf/and voting on the agenda and the leader.