I have your letter. I write this in the train on my way to Delhi. Devdas1, Pyarelal2, Mahadev3 and Manzar Ali are with me. I shall return in a couple of days. Take care of your health.
I got your postcard as well as the papers sent with Kesu. I write this letter on the train. I am glad that you find the place congenial. Ahmedabad water causes constipation. Both of you sisters move about freely as much as you like. I hope to return from Delhi on Friday. Devdas, Pyarelal and Mahadev, all three, are with me.
1 Youngest son of Gandhiji
2 Pyarelal Nayyar; Gandhi\u2019s secretary since 1920; biographer of Gandhiji
3 Mahadev Desai (1892-1942); Gandhiji's secretary for 25 years
4 From the postmark
I have to confess that the response to this appeal has been more prompt than I had expected. It has been proved not once but many times that, by God\u2019s grace, compassion does exist in the hearts of the people. Many funds have been launched for this work. People may pay their contribution to Whichever fund they choose; I would only urge that pay, they must. Malabar\u2019s misery is unimaginable. If a man expecting death survives, he dances with joy. He forgets hunger, thrist, heat or cold in the excitement of having survived. Our brothers and sisters in Malabar are in this predicament. Those who are dead are gone. The survivors are simply happy because they are alive. As days pass, their misery will increase, not diminish. We are humble creatures before God. We have the power to crush an ant and that makes us arrogant; Whereas God has a thousand times more power to crush us like ants and He does exercise that power on occasion. This action of His is, however, not \u201cviolence\u201d, because He is omniscient and an ocean of compassion. Since we cannot pierce His mystery, we call Him the creator, preserver and destroyer of the world. He, in fact, neither creates nor preserves nor destroys. We know not what law governs our birth, life and death.
Readers will be glad to know that some brothers and sisters are missing a meal every day, some have given up milk or other things and they are contributing to the Fund. What is thus saved. Even children have joined this work spontaneously. A handsome amount is likely to be collected in this way. A small girl had stolen three pice which too she paid to the Fund. A sister has donated her four bracelets and a chain of pure gold. Another sister has given her heavy necklace. A child has parted with his gold trinket and a sister With her silver anklets. One person has given two toe-rings. AnA n t y a j a2 girl has offered voluntarily the ornaments worn on her feet. A young man has handed over his gold cufflinks.
Clothes are coming in large numbers. It is difficult to estimate their value. These clothes are most welcome on this occasion. When there is a cloud-burst, it is not possible to think of swadeshi and
offered. I do not have the nerve to say that I will not clothe a naked man in foreign garments. If India had been overflowing with khadi by now, I would, indeed, have said this. As long as I have not acquired this power, how can we, who are ourselves loaded with garments, be fastidious while clothing the naked? I have lost sight of the distinction between co-operation and non-co-operation on this occasion of distress relief. I am prepared to serve under Government officials in the work of feeding the hungry; and I advise the non-co-operators to do the same. It does not mean that we should also attend meetings convened by the Government. We are not interested in these things. We should only perform the soldier\u2019s job. If we collect funds, we should modestly extend relief without coming in the way of the Government to quarters where the Government has not reached or does not wish to reach. If the Government wills, it can extend abundant help. The entire work is so enormous that there is enough scope for private enterprise and private charity. Private enterprise alone will not be able to meet the challenge; but whatever is left undone by Government aid can be undertaken by private relief alone. I am considering in consultation with Vallabhbhai3 how best to utilize the funds. Much depends upon the amount of money collected.
If anyone\u2019s contribution is not acknowledged inN a v a j i v a n, he should write to me. The intention to acknowledge all amounts is still there. In case of very small amounts, I intend to publish only the
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