Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian at Tata Sons, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti has shared a charming little story showcasing Mahatma Gandhi’s respect for people, including little children.
Bhat often shares anecdotes related to the history of Tata Group on LinkedIn. In the latest post, Bhat wrote that in 1934, Tata Steel and the town of Jamshedpur were privileged to play host to Mahatma Gandhi. The Father of the Nation had made a brief stopover of about 10 hours in the city, enroute to Orissa from Ranchi.
Gandhi had stayed at the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) Institute, and in the evening, he addressed a large meeting at the TISCO Institute grounds.
However, one DC Ahuja’s little daughter Sarla Ahuja, who had been eagerly looking forward to seeing Gandhi at this meeting, suddenly got ill and was taken to the Tata Main Hospital.
But, Sarla, even in her delirium, kept calling out Gandhi's name. Sarla's mother managed to convey this to social activist Thakkar Bapa, who in turn informed Gandhi about the little girl.
Gandhi, despite the hectic schedule, registered this in his mind and after his meeting, visited the little girl in the hospital.
Gandhi, after spending some time with her, asked her permission to leave. To which Sarla simply said "No".
This must have surprised Gandhi, but rather than leave immediately as many busy and big people often tend to do, he explained to her gently why he must leave and left only after obtaining her permission.
Bhat concluded his story by saying, “If Gandhiji, in the midst of a hectic tour of India, could find time to do this, there is a lesson here for all of us.”
Bhat joined the Tata Group in 1987 and currently is the Chairman of Tata Coffee Limited.
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