We must identify ourselves with the villagers who toil under the hot sun beating on their bent backs and see how we would like to drinks water from the pool in which the villagers bathe, wash their clothes and pots, and in which their cattle drink and roll. Then and not till then shall we truly represent the masses and they will as surely as I am writing this, respond to every call. (YI, 11-9-1924, p. 300)
We have got to be ideal villagers, not the villagers with their queer ideas or absence of ideas about sanitation and giving no thought to how they eat and what they eat. Let us not, like most of them, cook anyhow, eat anyhow, live anyhow. Let us show them the ideal diet. Let us not go by mere likes and dislikes, but get at the root of these likes and dislikes
We have got to show them that they can grow their vegetables, without much expense, and keep good health. We have also to show that most of the vitamins are lost when they cook the leaves...
We have to teach them how to economize time, health and money
. Lionel Curtis described our villages ass dung-heaps. We have to turn them into model villages. Our village-folk do not get fresh air though they are surrounded by fresh air ; they don't get fresh food though they are surrounded by the freshest foods. I am talking like a missionary in this matter of food, because my mission is to make villages a thing of beauty. (H, 1-3-1935, p. 21)
The only way is to sit down in their midst and work away in steadfast faith, as their scavengers, their nurses, their servants, not as their patrons, and to forget all our prejudices and prepossessions. Let us for a moment forget even Swaraj, and certainly forget the 'haves' whose presence oppresses us at every step. They are there. There are many who are dealing with these big problems. Let us tackle humbler work of the village which is necessary now and would be, even after we have reached our goal. Indeed, the village work when it becomes successful will itself bring us nearer the goal. (H, 16-5-1936, p. 112)