Reference: Gandhi Research Foundation

Sarvodaya is Gandhiji’s most important socio­political movement. Like Satyagraha, it too is a combination of two terms, Sarva ­ meaning one and all, and Uday ­ meaning welfare or uplift. The conjunction thus implies “Universal uplift” or “welfare of all” as the meaning of Sarvodaya.

Gandhiji’s first encounter with this noble notion was in the form of the book titled Unto This Last by John Ruskin, which he read in South Africa in 1904. The impact of this reading was so powerful that it proved to be a life­ changing experience for Gandhiji, “I determined to change my life in accordance with the ideals of the book”.

Ruskin’s ideology was based on three fundamental tenets;

•   That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.

•   That a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber‚s in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work.

•   That a life of labour, i.e., the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicraftsman is the life worth living.

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