485 Indian boys aged 10 to 16 join a half-kilometer peace march in central Kolkata, West Bengal in honor of Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic Indian spiritual leader who was assassinated 64 years ago. Mostly poor sons of single mothers, they were dressed in the image of the country’s famous spiritual leader, complete with colored caps, round glasses, moustache, dhoti, shawl and walking sticks.
The march organizer Michael Anthony, who runs the UK-based organisers TRACKS (Training Recourse and Care for Kids), said: 'We don't want the poor kids to forget the rich legacy of Gandhian ideology.
This impressive march called RISE UP established a Guinness world record as their march of 485 children was the largest such gathering ever recorded. Gandhi's granddaughter Usha Gokani, who watched the event, said:
“It's a great feeling. When my children heard of the effort, they convinced me to come to Kolkata.
The trip maybe a bit tiring for you, but it is worth taking, they said
I now know they were right. The passion displayed by these children for the father of the nation touched my heart.”.
Their march aims to bring alive memories of Gandhi's historic Dandi march in March 1930 which sparked India's independence movement.
Mahatma Gandhi was an inspirational leader of India and the Indian independence movement.
Noted for his non-violent means to meet his goals, Gandhi led the early formation of the country's independence.
He is one of the most influential figures in recent history and his methods inspired civil rights movements across the world.
Mahatma Gandhi, which means Great soul was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal city in Gujarat. He was fatally shot on January 30 1948 while having one of his nightly public walk on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi. He was 78 years old when he died.
The assassin, Nathuram Vinayak Godse (19 May 1910- 15 November 1949) hails from the city of Pune, India. He was a Hindu radical with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha. Sentenced to death on March 8, 1949, he and co-accused Narayan Apte were hanged on March 15, 1949 and their bodies cremated inside Ambala Central Jail. Then their ashes were immersed into the Gaghar river. Godse was 39 and Apte, 38 when they died. The site was ploughed over by weapon carriers to hide identity.