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Figuring out an easy-to-read Mahatma Gandhi biography for kids might not be an easy task for most parents. There are numerous books that describe different aspects of his life, but there might be very few that would be understood by kids clearly. Giving them a head start into understanding the context of the times and the motivations of Gandhi can be achieved by pairing the children’s history lessons with some important facts around his life. Some preliminary information about the greatest leader of our country can prove to be a potential springboard into knowing more about the man himself, as well as the independence struggle.
Video: Interesting Facts & Information about Mahatma Gandhi for Kids
Mahatma Gandhi Information for Children
While putting together some pertinent information and facts surrounding the life of Mahatma Gandhi, we’ve worked out an entire path that takes you right from his birth and childhood, to the time spent in Africa, the struggle for India’s independence, and his assassination.
Childhood and Family
- The real name of Mahatma Gandhi is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
- He was born in Porbandar on the 2nd of October, in 1869.
- His parents were Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai. The former was the Chief Minister of Porbandar at the time.
- Since child marriage was quite prevalent in that era, Mohandas Gandhi’s marriage was also planned around the time he was 13 years old.
- He was married to Kastur Kapadia, who later changed her name to Kasturba Gandhi after the marriage. They were married in the year 1883. Kasturba was 14 years old then.
- Even after marriage, Kasturba continued to stay with her parents at her own home. Kasturba Gandhi, too, was politically active through her life and focused on attaining civil rights for everyone.
- Mohandas Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi had 4 children. All of them were boys. Their names were Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas.
- In 1885, Gandhi-ji and Kasturba had their first baby, which did not survive and passed away just a few days after birth. In the same year, Karamchand Gandhi passed away as well, leaving Mohandas fatherless.
- As wonderful as he might seem today, Mohandas Gandhi was a weak student in school. He found the subject of Geography too difficult to understand. However, he loved reading Hindu scriptures and began to idolise Raja Harishchandra, the king who would always tell the truth.
Work in South Africa
- After completing his initial education, Gandhi made his way to London in order to study law. His aim was to become a barrister, which was also what his family wanted for him.
- He studied law in the University College of London in the year 1888. After that, he returned back to India, making attempts to start his own law practice.
- When those attempts did not bear any fruit, he decided to take up a job with a law firm. That job is what brought him to South Africa.
- In that period, South Africa was facing a lot of discrimination along the lines of race and colour. Gandhi, hailing from India, also had a dark coloured skin.
- While riding a bus that was filled completely, a white man asked Gandhi to vacate the seat he was sitting in, just because he had a dark coloured skin. Gandhi refused to do so and, as a result, he was thrown out of the bus.
- Along with that incident, there were various instances where Gandhi was refused a room in the hotels of South Africa as well as ordered to remove his turban by a court magistrate as well.
- All of these moments inspired him to fight for equality and develop political ideas that could help people.
Mahatma Gandhi and Indian Freedom Struggle
- On returning to India, he realized how the Indian populace was suffering under the British Empire. He decided to lead a movement with the aim to have an independent nation.
- The key strategy of his political ideas was the use of non-violence. Gandhi always believed that violence was never a solution to any problem.
- He began undertaking numerous campaigns, revolving around the idea of civil disobedience. The strategy was simple: to refuse any orders given by the British Empire, without resorting to any violence. The streets soon filled with people boycotting their work and refusing to cooperate with the British.
- Similarly, Gandhi also conducted the Dandi march when the British imposed a heavy tax on salt.
- While Gandhi was elected to be a member of the Congress party in the year 1920, he later walked out of the party in 1934 and continued to work towards India’s independence struggle by himself.
- With repeated boycotts, disobedience movements, and nationwide rallying of the people with the “Quit India” movement to overthrow the empire, the British finally conceded and agreed to leave India, making it independent.
About Mahatma Gandhi’s Death
- After India’s partition came into effect, the nation split into India and Pakistan.
- Many people began to detest the policies of Gandhi. Nathuram Godse was a Hindu nationalist, who had a strong hatred for Gandhi.
- As a result, he fired three bullets at Gandhi on 30th January 1948 at around 5.17pm and assassinated him.
- The title of “Mahatma” was bestowed on Gandhiji and a large funeral was arranged for him. More than 20 lakh people attended the funeral to bid goodbye to the father of our nation.
When describing Mahatma Gandhi’s history for kids, understanding the timeline of events that made him the person that he is and motivated him to fight against the British rule is extremely important. The principle of Satyagraha is at the core of his life and helping your kids understand the necessity of truth, honesty and non-violence is quite essential as well.