Gandhiji’s Dream Of a Sustainable City

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A great leader and visionary, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a strong advocate of a self-sufficient and sustainable India. For India to become self-sufficient and sustainable, its cities have to become self-sufficient and sustainable first. On the occasion of his 146th birth anniversary, lets try and achieve Gandhiji’s dream of a sustainable city.

Gandhiji was a strong proponent of ‘swadeshi’ or home economy, be it food, clothing or anything else. During the British rule in India, he promoted the swadeshi idealism by making his own clothes and asking Indians to wear and use only Indian made products. Dandi March and the Charkha Movement are prime examples of Gandhiji’s principle of swadeshi. The government of India, under Shri Narendra Modi, has started a campaign called the Make in India campaign. This campaign follows the same blueprint of manufacturing in India.

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Faridabad is one of the biggest industrial cities in India. Thinking in line with the Swadeshi and the Make in India Campaign, Faridabad can truly become a smart industrial city as it has all the required infrastructure in place. The Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) strives to convert Faridabad into a smart, self-sufficient and sustainable city, which would serve as a major hub for companies making products in India.

‘Gram swaraj,’ which means village self-rule, was an important concept in Gandhiji’s thinking. In Gandhiji’s own words, the basic concept of gram swaraj is that every village should be “independent of its neighbours for its own vital wants and yet interdependent for many others in which dependency is necessary.” Each village should be basically self-reliant, making provision for all necessities of life – food, clothing, clean water, sanitation, housing, education and so on, including government and self-defence, all socially useful amenities required by a community. To develop a city, based on Gandhiji’s model of gram swaraj, the MCF is conducting a citywide survey to build a smart city for the Faridabadians, by the Faridabadians, based on the vision of Faridabadians.

Gandhiji had long foreseen the importance of self-sufficient and sustainable city. If we understand and implement these Gandhian thoughts, we can surely succeed in making Faridabad a self-sufficient and sustainable smart city.

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