The relationship Charnwood Arts developed with individuals and organisations across Gujarat began in the late 1980s and continues to this day. The original links were facilitated through the Charnwood Community Link initiative. Throughout the 1990s a number of projects, exchange visits, exhibitions and school engagement programmes were undertaken both in the UK and India. In 1997 this culminated in the making of a film 'From the Seeds of Satyagraha' to tell the story of rural development inspired by Gandhian principles, in the Surat District of Southern Gujarat.
Of the many remarkable people who we met and interviewed Dashriben Choudhry was to reveal her early life to us as a complete surprise. The story of adviasi (tribal) Indian support for Gandhi in his mission to free India from colonial rule is largely untold. Dashriben was not alone in adding to the record of their contribution but her story as a 'dangerous girl' is one her family are rightly proud of.
The video link at the bottom of this page takes you to an interview with her. At the moment this is not sub-titled and only short translations can be found at various points in the video through her son Ashok. However, the Hindu Times later picked up on her story and she re-tells it to them through the linked article.
Drawing by Paul Gent (detail)