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STUDENTS' PROJECTS > THE STORY OF MY LIFE > PART IX : IN INDIA AND FOUNDING THE ASHRAM >In Poona
44. In Poona
It was a joy to get back to the homeland after so many years of exile.
Gokhale and the members of the Servants of India Society* overwhelmed me with affection. So far as I recollect, Gokhale got all of them together to meet me. I had a frank talk with them all on every sort of subject.
I wanted to have an Ashram where I could settle down with my Phoenix family, preferably somewhere in Gujarat, as being a Gujarati, I thought I was best fitted to serve the country through serving Gujarat. Gokhale liked the idea. He said: “You should certainly do so. You must look to me for the expenses of the Ashram, which I will regard as my own.”
My heart overflowed with joy. It was a pleasure to feel free from the responsibility of raising funds.
*Founded by Gokhale and consisting of men pledged to devote all their lives to the service of the country on such allowances as the society may be able to give. Its work covers many fields - political, social, economic and educational; moderate in politics, it is a non-communal organization which does not recognize caste distinctions. It conducts several institutions throughout the country. – Ed.