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Equal care for everybody
Sevagram ashram had just started. Children would come from nearby villages to learn spinning and carding and they earned some money too by the evening. They would come in the morning and go back in the evening. Once, before going to sleep Gandhiji asked Vijya, “What happens about the afternoon meal for those children?”
Vijya used to go to the well every afternoon, to wash a bucket of clothes of Ba, Bapu and herself. The children also used to come there around the same time at the bank of the well for their meal. So, she knew about their meals and sometimes she would even ask them: What is there for meal today? Children would answer: Bhakhari- shak (wheat flour cake and vegetable). Vijya informed all these to Bapu in detail.
Bapu asked, “Do we have extra butter milk?”
Vijya answered, “Yes.”
Bapu immediately said, “Then serve Butter milk to those children from tomorrow.”
Vijya accepted this responsibility.
After three days, Bapu asked Vijya before going to bed: “Vijya, are you giving Butter milk to children?”
Vijya replied, “Bapu, I forgot that. I am sorry.”
Bapu just hesitated a bit, and then told her with affection, “No, You have not forgotten. You are not forgetful. You do all my work very meticulously. When I go for my walk, the sandals are nicely cleaned and arranged. Stick is also kept in its place. Your nature is not of the kind to forget things. But, shall I tell you? You do all my work, and you never forget anything, that is because I am a ‘Mahatma’, is it not? We always tend to do the work of big people properly. But, these are small, strange children and so we forget their work. But, let me tell you that it does not matter if you forget my work.  If you do their work with extra care and attention, that will give me the utmost satisfaction.”