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The manuscript of this book has been lying with me since1949. I read D. G. Tendulkar's manuscript of the Mahatma in 1948, just after I had left the work in Kasturba training camp of Bengal. I worked in a village. The villagers around me and the girl trainees, I noticed, knew very little about Gandhiji. They observed Gandhi Jayanti, daily spun and prayed. Some had taken part in national movements and courted jail, but they did not know what Gandhiji's real contribution was. May be I was wrong, but that is what I felt.
I still feel the same about many persons I come in contact with every day, some of whom are educated, all of whom abhor manual labour. I myself do not believe in the dignity of labour, but I know the drudgery of body labour. And that's why I every day try to share some manual labour with servants, lest I develop the feeling that just by paying a few chips I can win a right to make others work for me.
I wanted to present Gandhiji as a willing shared in many such labours which others do to earn their livelihood, not for the love of the work. Some incidents are repeated purposely. I definitely do not want to add more persons to the band of blind worshippers of Gandhiji. But I would very much like the young of today to know that Gandhiji was not merely the Father of Nation or the Architect of Freedom, and then, criticise him.
The idea of the book was mine. I wrote it for the teenagers. Almost all the material have been culled from D. G Tendulkar's Mahatma. I cannot express how much indebted I am to him for this small publication.. My diffidence delayed the publication of this small book. Mr. N. G. Jog and Prof. P. R. Sen were kind enough to go through the manuscript Mr. M. Chalapathi Rau gave me the chance of getting twenty of these sketches published in a series in the national Herald.
I am indebted to Mr. R. K. Laxman for the illustrations he has done for my book
I am extremely grateful to Jawaharlalji for writing a foreword to this book.
I shall be happy if one young reader out of a thousand practices and of the works done by Gandhiji.