THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI
3. RELIEF WORK IN MALABAR
I have to confess that the response to this appeal has been moreprompt than I had expected. It has been proved not once but manytimes that, by God’s grace, compassion does exist in the hearts of thepeople. Many funds have been launched for this work. People maypay their contribution to Whichever fund they choose; I would onlyurge that pay, they must. Malabar’s misery is unimaginable. If a manexpecting death survives, he dances with joy. He forgets hunger, thrist,heat or cold in the excitement of having survived. Our brothers andsisters in Malabar are in this predicament. Those who are dead aregone. The survivors are simply happy because they are alive. As dayspass, their misery will increase, not diminish. We are humble creaturesbefore God. We have the power to crush an ant and that makes usarrogant; Whereas God has a thousand times more power to crush uslike ants and He does exercise that power on occasion. This action of His is, however, not “violence”, because He is omniscient and anocean of compassion. Since we cannot pierce His mystery, we callHim the creator, preserver and destroyer of the world. He, in fact,neither creates nor preserves nor destroys. We know not what lawgoverns our birth, life and death.Whatever it is, as long as we desire to live, it is our natural andinescapable duty to help others to live.Readers will be glad to know that some brothers and sisters aremissing a meal every day, some have given up milk or other thingsand they are contributing to the Fund. What is thus saved. Evenchildren have joined this work spontaneously. A handsome amount islikely to be collected in this way. A small girl had stolen three picewhich too she paid to the Fund. A sister has donated her four braceletsand 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 silveranklets. One person has given two toe-rings. An
girl hasoffered voluntarily the ornaments worn on her feet. A young man hashanded over his gold cufflinks.Rs. 6994-13-3 have been collected in cash up to date. (Pleasesee
A similar appeal in regard to flood relief was made in
Young India; vide
“Notes (subtopic - Help to Malabar)”, 14-8-1924.
Literally “the last born”, the castes traditionally regarded as untouchables.