18 is not just a number; it was a historical concept in the year 1945 when the Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, came up with the idea of constructive programmes as visions for developing India. But the number 18 was never discussed again in the coming years.
What are the 18 Constructive Programmes?
The 18 Constructive Programmes were not only valid in the year 1945, but it’s also very much applicable in the present day and age. After reading about the constructive programmes, I found that few of the issues stated in them are still very much relevant in the current context:
Mahatma Gandhi always emphasised on the growth of a village through a self-sustainable business model which was started in the Year 1942 (Quit India Movement), but it was on hold after independence as more focus was given to urban development, pushing our rural population to the back seat.
In 1945, there was no concept of taking selfies, but if there were one, then Mahatma Gandhi would urge people from different communities to take pictures symbolising the power of unity but unfortunately even after so much technology and advancement, today India is still facing the problem of communal intolerance.
Well, when India was fighting for independence, Adivasis were considered an important part of the general population. But as the years passed by, Adivasis’ rights were constantly infringed upon in the name of ‘development’. The upliftment of Adivasis was an important concern for Gandhi, and as a society, it should be our priority as well.
Kisans are one of the most important assets for any developing country as they help in the improvement of a country’s economic condition. But unfortunately, they are still fighting for resources, status and recognition, seventy years after our country’s independence.
Apart from the above three constructive programmes, there are 15 other important constructive programmes which are also the main vision of Mahatma Gandhi that he thought of regarding the development of India.
The National Agenda Forum is a platform that is providing an opportunity to the youth of India to choose from Gandhiji’s priorities and elect leaders from their portal. The portal also provides resources for the country’s youth to learn and know about Gandhiji’s priorities and select the leader they want to work towards the completion of that priority.
The Right Tribute – National Agenda Forum
National Agenda Forum is one of the first ideas in India that had focussed on Gandhiji’s campaign on such a big level that has covered almost all the cities across India covering thousands of students across different schools and colleges. More than 25,000 youth volunteers from 1,788 colleges spread over 530 districts across India came together to launch this platform. NAF aims at giving voice to the youth of India to commence a dialogue in the Indian electoral system by voting to set the agenda and choose a leader who can then implement it. It is quite intriguing how the non-exhaustive 18-point Constructive Programme is still relevant in the present day and how it continues to speak volumes about the developmental politics that prevail today.
The youth-run movement entails four action points for everyone who wishes to participate:
National Agenda Forum is a non-partisan citizens’ platform, and the will of the participants would define the future course. This is an initiative of I-PAC, a platform of choice for educated youth and young professionals who want to participate in the Indian political system and contribute meaningfully in setting the agenda for incoming governments, without necessarily being part of a political party.
2018 is the year highly dedicated to the 18 Constructive Programmes, and National Agenda Forum is set up as the benchmark for the youth of India to choose their leader and priorities or add their own priorities as they deem fit.