Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was one of the most prominent freedom fighters of India against British rule. Even as a freedom fighter, he believed and stood by the idea of non-violence and contributed a lot towards making India achieve independence.
Due to his dedication, he also got the title of ‘Father of the Nation’. There are many such amazing Mahatma Gandhi facts for kids that will definitely surprise them.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Mahatma Gandhi for Kids
Gandhi’s life principles are regarded as one of the greatest. Many civil rights leaders have been immensely influenced by them and adopted them in their respective fights. Let’s discuss the most interesting set of Gandhi facts for kids.
1. His birthday is a National Holiday
2nd October is celebrated as a national holiday in memory of Mahatma Gandhi every year in India. His birthday is also celebrated as “International Day of non-violence.”
2. He won the title of Times Man of the Year
In the year 1930, Gandhi won the title of ‘Times Man of the Year’. Gandhi was considered a legacy due to his social and political movements, and the reforms they drew in.
3. He studied law at the University College of London
Gandhiji (Ji is a suffix used to add respect) wanted to become a barrister, for which he headed to London to learn the law. When his efforts to practice law in India failed upon return, he took a job in a law firm that took him to South Africa.
4. Once, he was thrown out of a bus!
Gandhiji had dark skin which subjected him to racism in South Africa. Once on such an occasion, a white man asked him to vacate a seat on the bus. When Gandhi refused to do so, he was thrown out of the bus.
Sadly, this wasn’t the only experience. He continued to face racism in South Africa. However, this drove him more to fight for equality.
5. He strictly practiced ‘ahimsa’
‘Ahimsa’ meaning non-violence was his prime principle. He continued to struggle throughout the freedom fight without using an ounce of violence. He practiced his principles with perseverance and preached the same.
6. He wore only a loincloth and shawl
Gandhi is known for his minimal lifestyle. Originally, Gandhi wore formal attire. However, he was very much affected by the condition of the poor and oppressed in the country. He wanted to be a symbol to the masses.
His journey in Madurai where he observed the people in a train compartment, gave him the final courage to shed off his clothing. Post that, he was always seen in a loincloth and shawl.
7. Gandhi was a strict vegetarian
He believed in eating healthy and pure. He liked to experiment with his diet. He sometimes switched to a diet consisting of only fruits and nuts. His diet included raw and cooked fruits and vegetables and lots of juices.
8. He was admired by famous personalities
Famous personalities like Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr., have expressed their admiration towards Gandhi. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc., was also his admirer.
9. The Indian currency has a smiling portrait of Gandhi
In the year 1996, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) released the currency series having Gandhi’s smiling portrait on them. These currencies are still used in India.
10. He was a 5 times Nobel Peace Prize nominee
Not many people know that Gandhiji was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times in the years 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and 1948, but he never won it.
11. He was assassinated
Post-independence, some people did not support Gandhi and his decisions. Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist hated the ideas of Gandhi. This hatred led him to fire three bullets at Gandhi on 30th January 1948. Gandhi is believed to have passed away with his last words as ‘Hey Ram’ (meaning Oh God!).
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It is said that the great Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore gave the title of ‘Mahatma’ to Gandhiji. It is assumed that he bestowed the title to Gandhiji in his autobiography.
Gandhiji was believed in ‘Do or Die’ during the Quit India movement. He often said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” There are many other slogans of Gandhiji that hold importance in the present day.
Gandhiji was considered to be hailing from a wealthy family. His father was the Chief Minister of Porbandar state.
Putlibai Gandhi gave birth to her fourth and last child, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2nd October 1869. She belonged to a Pranami Vaishnava family from Junagadh.
Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi, the father to Mahatma Gandhi, was a diwan a.k.a. Chief Minister in the Porbandar state. He belonged to the Kutiana village in the Junagadh state.
Gandhiji had two older brothers, namely, Laxmidas Gandhi and Karsandas Gandhi, and an elder sister, Raliatbehn Gandhi. He also had two stepsisters from the first two wives of his father, namely, Pankunvarben Gandhi and Muliben Gandhi.
Gandhiji had goat’s milk, cooked and raw vegetables, and fruits like oranges. He also took a concoction of ginger, sour lemons, and strained butter with juice of aloe.
Before going on a fast, he took warm water with lemon juice and honey. Then, throughout the fast, he would drink water mostly, while adding salt or lemon juice to it occasionally.
As a child, Gandhiji was called ‘Moniya’ endearingly by his parents and friends. As he grew up, he took on many nicknames given by people to him due to his great work. He took the title of ‘Mahatma’ which means great soul. He was also called ‘Bapu’ which literally means ‘Father’.
Gandhiji had great insights on fear and hate. He said, “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is really fear.” He also believed that if we refuse to be afraid, then nothing would be able to frighten us.
Gandhiji believed that real happiness is the balance between mind, body, and soul. He rightfully said that “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Gandhi was a pure vegetarian and took in proper ‘satvik’ (pure) diet. He loved eating rice & dal, chapati, yogurt, vegetables like beetroot and radish, and ‘peda’, an Indian sweet made out of milk. It is also said that he loved having Purslane.
Some people say that ‘orange’ was Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite color while some say that ‘white’ was his favorite because it signifies peace.
Gandhiji went to a local school near his home at the age of 9. He later attended Alfred High School in Rajkot at the age of 11. It was known as Rajkot High School at the time and was renamed “Mohandas Gandhi High School” after independence.
These were the most fun Mahatma Gandhi facts for kids that will surely amaze them as well as encourage them. Gandhiji lived one of the most inspirational lives ever and left us with priceless teachings for eternity.