Ramlal Parikh – A life sketch

(1927- 1999) 

Publisher: Indian Society For Community Education Community Education House,
Off Ashram Road, Navajivan Press Road, Ahmedabad-380 014. (India) 



  • Born on 18th April, 1927 at Baroda, Gujarat. 
  • Eldest son of Hasumatibahen and Dahyalal. 
  • Married at the age of 19 to Padmabahen. 
  • Died on 21st November, 1999 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 


  • MA in Ancient Indian History and Culture. 
  • One year post MA Study in the Archeology Department of MS  University at Baroda as a research scholar on ‘Archeology of Sabarkantha District’. • Diploma in Management from Indira Gandhi Open University at the age of 62 years. 
  • (Hon), Doctorate in “Peace Education” from World University Roundtable, Seol, South Korea. 


  • Music 
  • Reading 
  • Gymnastics 
  • Swimming 
  • Gita recitation 
  • Travelling 
  • Discussions & Debates. 


  • “Gujarat – A Profile” in three languages – Gujarati, Hindi & English (an anthropological work on all facets of life & culture of Gujarat) • Perspectives of Peace Research 
  • Gandhiji in Gujarat 
  • Epigraphic Resources of Gujarat 
  • Twentieth Century India 
  • Concept of Indology 
  • Editor of World Education Journal 
  • Published several articles in various journals at national and international level.

Merits and Distinctions 

Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Literacy by the Indian Adult Education Association. 

  1. Victor Johnson Award from International Community Education Association. 
  2. Madam Krupskaya Lenin Award for Literacy from UNESCO. 4. Peace Messenger Award from United Nations. 
  3. Life-time Literacy Award by Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. 
  4. Great World Peace Award from International Association of University Presidents, Seoul. 
  5. Morarji Desai Award for Peace, Education and International Association of Educator for World Peace 
  6. Pranavanand Award of Government of India. 
  7. Maganbhai Desai Award for Education from Government of Gujarat. 
  8. Education Award from Darshak Foundation. 
  9. Scientific Prize for the Highland Development from the National Institute for Scientific Research Socialist Republic of Vietnam. 
  10. Shri Gangasharan Sinh Award from All India Hindi Sanstha Sangh. 13. Kabir Award from Government of Uttar Pradesh. 
  11. OISCA India Award from OISCA International of Japan.
  12. Vishwa Gurjari Award from Vishwa Gurjari, Ahmedabad.
  13. National Citizen Award from National Citizen Council, New Delhi.
  14. Harmony Award from World University Roundtable. 
  15. Delivered many keynote, presidential and convocation addresses on various subjects in various Universities in India and abroad. 

Two millenniums of human history are so far full with centuries of violence. The next millennium should be based on non-violence. It may appear to be a dream, but it is worthwhile to work for realization of this sublime dream with infinite patience and perseverance. It is worth sacrificing one’s life for liberation and elevation of humankind. Any suffering for this great cause and eternal human value will be fully justifiable. 

– Ramlal Parikh

National Polity 

  • Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi involved in Freedom Struggle at the tender age of 14. 
  • Joined Youth Congress (Indian National Congress) and served as Secretary and the President in Youth Congress. 
  • Convened the National Convention of Indian National Congress at Bhavnagar. 
  • Worked as Chief Coordinator of Elections for Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee in 1971. 
  • Head of Election Manifesto Committee of GPCC several times. • Functioned as Chairman, Election Fund Raising Committee of GPCC for many years. 
  • Played an important role in forging alliance among non-congress (I) Parties at state & national level. 
  • Active member of Rajyasabha during 1975-81 and had asked large numbers of questions on diverse subjects and made important speeches on education policy, economic policies and political system etc. 
  • Worked on Parliament Committees on Petitions, Assurance, Child Education, Culture & Social Welfare, Tourism, Railways, Libraries, etc. 
  • Played an important role in designing programmes of Gandhi Centenary Celebrations and 50th Anniversary of India’s Independence as a member of National Committee & State Committee.
  • Has established Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development and designed its activities. • Worked as resource person for Beijing Declaration and Chairman Drafting Committee of New Delhi Declaration as well Geneva Conference on population issues.

Youth Activities 

  • Led student movement in pre and post independence times in Baroda, as Secretary – Students Association Baroda, All Gujarat Students Congress and National Students Union Association. 
  • Formed more than 50 Students Associations and helped them to be active. 
  • Promoted the concept of Nehru Yuva Kendra to Support Youth activities. 
  • Worked as Secretary Gujarat Youth Congress and then Indian Youth Congress. Also became President of Indian Youth Congress. 
  • Represented India as an observer at the Moscow Convention of World Assembly of Youth (WAY) and been instrumental in making Indian Youth Congress a member of WAY. Also represented India as Asian President of WAY. 
  • Promoted and developed various institutions for youth development and related activities. 
  • Founded Yuvak Vikas Trust (Ahmedabad) and served lifelong as Chairman and Managing Trustee. The institution conducted different types of youth leadership training programmes at state level and trained more than 1.5 lakhs of youth. 
  • Co-promoter of Vishwa Yuvak Kendra (Delhi) and contributed to its all round development as Trustee initially and then as Managing Trustee. 
  • Organized several conventions, workshops and camps on youth related subjects. 
  • President of Institute of Youth Affairs. 

The new role of youth for “Development” also implied a massive struggle of reconstruction of India for elevating the life of masses of Indian people by providing minimum needs of food, shelter, clothing…. Every young man and woman must resolve oneself to pursue the ideas of Think Globally, Act Locally. 

– Ramlal Parikh 

Gujarat Vidyapith 

  • Began his life mission in the field of education by joining Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad, an Institution founded by Mahatma Gandhi as a lecturer of Indian History and Culture in 1952 and since then remained involved with teaching till the last. Taught various subjects like World History, History of India, Philosophy of History, Gandhian Thought, Constitution of India, Adult & Continuing Education, Population Education, Contemporary Governments, Peace & New Global Society, Movement of Social Reforms etc. at under-graduate and post-graduate levels. 
  • Held various positions in Vidyapith, viz. Mahamatra, Principal of Mahadev Desai Samajseva Mahavidyalaya, Managing Trustee, Vice Chancellor and then Chancellor and also permanent and holding trustee on the Board of Trustees. 
  • Worked as first Director of Peace Research Center of Gujarat Vidyapith. 
  • Post-graduation Programmes and doctorate programmes in: Social Sciences, Social Work, Rural Management, Peace, Science and Non-Violence, library science, Physical Education, Industrial Microbiology, Computer Applications, Journalism, Gandhian Thought, Primary Teacher’s Education, Adult Education & Population Education. 
  • Also started various diploma and certificate courses in Instrumentation, Panchayat talim, Vak vidya, Audio-visual techniques, etc. 
  • Started correspondence courses and week-end courses at various levels in various subjects. 
  • Took Vidyapith to rural areas by developing Sadara and Randheja College Campuses

Established many new departments like: 

  • Tribal Research Centre, 
  • Gandhi Darshan, 
  • Non-violence Research Centre, 
  • Institute of Equity & Development, 
  • Computer Centre, 
  • Bhasha Sanskriti Bhavan (a department to teach different Indian languages), 
  • Jain & Buddha Vidya, Adult & Continuing Education, 
  • State Resource Centre for Adult Education, 
  • Printing & Journalism, 
  • Videography & Photo-graphy department at Ahmedabad Campus, 
  • Digitalization of Library 
  • Yog Vidya Centre, 
  • Morarji Desai Arogyadham, 
  • Swimming-pool and Sports complex, Ahm. Campus, 
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendra, 
  • Biogas Centre, 
  • Naturopathy Centre, 
  • Home Science Department, 
  • Science Extension Centre, 
  • Department of Physical Education, 
  • Department of Rural Management, 
  • Panchayat Training Centre, 

Linked Vidyapith with UGC and other universities and established strong relationship with Apex Agencies like University Grants Commission (UGC), National Council for Education, Research and Training(NCERT), Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Gujarat Council for Education, Research and Training(GCERT) and succeeded in getting recognition for Vidyapith Education in entire country. 

Put Vidyapith in the leading position in the country with respect to adult education, continuing education, Gandhian thought, peace studies, tribal studies, etc. 

Took education outside the class-rooms by inviting various eminent guest speakers from all walks of life and all parts of the  world. 

Created and nurtured an environment to facilitate different departments to take up research projects, sometimes with the help of experts, academicians and publish them. 

Worked as president, Gujarat Nai Talim Sangh.

Other Premier Institutions 

Remained associated with UGC activities for about 30 years. In the process, became member of the UGC where he worked on various committee like: 

  • Chairman, Standing Committee on Adult & Continuing Education. 
  • Member, Review Committee of UGC program. 
  • Member, Committee on Gandhian Studies and History. 
  • Member of Visiting Committee for selection of readers, professors, Vice-Chancellors etc. in various universities. 
  • Member, Committee for Higher Education for Scheduled Castes and Tribes. > Member of Visiting Committee for assessing institutions to give status of deemed to be university. 
  • Member of the committee for assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation. 
  • Held important positions in several national and international associations/ institutions and tried to influence them with Gandhian perception on education, viz. 
  • President, Association of Commonwealth Universities. > Member and President of Association of Indian Universities. > President, Gujarat State Basic Education Association. > Member of Syndicate, M.S. University, Baroda. 
  • Member/President of various educational institutions of Gujarat. > Member, Historical Records Commission, Government of India.
  • President, International Association of University Presidents.
  • Chairman of Committee on Motivation for Adult Education. > Chairman of Visiting Committee to assess Adult Education and Gandhian Studies programs in various universities. 

• Chairman GCS (India) an international institution based in South Korea. 

• Many articles were written and lecture delivered in national/international summits, conferences, convocations address in the universities.

Promotion of Hindi and Gujarati 

  • Language to him was not merely words and grammar, but it was an instrument to integrate the past with the present. 
  • Promoted the use of national language and contributed significantly in making people learn Hindi as member, treasurer, secretary and then president of “All India Hindi Sansthan Sangh”. 
  • Member, Hindi Advisory Committee of various departments of Government of India. 
  • President, Rashtrabhasha Parishad. 
  • Member, Central Institute of Hindi. 
  • Worked throughout the life to increase the honor and general acceptance of mother tongue Gujarati. 
  • Fought for Gujarati medium at all levels of education and provided facility to study with Gujarati medium in Gujarat Vidyapith for all subjects (including computer science) up to the level of Ph.D. 
  • Facilitated the introduction or vernacular language in UPSC and other Government examinations. 
  • Promoted use of Gujarati in government administration and worked as Chairman of Review Committee for use of Gujarati in administration of Government of Gujarat. 
  • Gujarat Law Commission which was responsible for translating legal terminology in Gujarati was established on his suggestion and efforts. 
  • Published 84 collections of rules, 12 departmental dictionaries, 10 subject wise dictionaries for administration and contributed in organizing and conducting training programmes for government officers for training them in Gujarati language.

Community Education 

  • Emphasized on Community Education for over all development of the society. 
  • Established Indian Society for Community Education at Ahmedabad and been the Chairman till the last breath and tried to bridge the gap between community and education through various programmes. 
  • Established Indian Society for Population Education in Ahmedabad. • Held various positions in International Community Education Association such as Regional Director, Asia Pacific Region. • Chairman of Steering Committee of the Association for World Education. 

Adult Education 

  • Worked for total literacy in India relentlessly. 
  • Headed Literacy Mission of Gujarat, and initiated the movement known as ‘Saksharta Abhiyan’. 
  • President of Motivation for Adult Education Committee, Government of India. 
  • Motivated universities to take up adult education and helped them establishing adult education departments and organize their activities.

“The gap between literate and illiterate people has reached almost a danger-point in terms of decline in social cohesion – This has led to fragmentation of the society threatening the very foundation of sustaining it.” 

International implies a global dimension of mind with firm roots in the native soil. ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ is therefore the most appropriate meaning of the term international or global. Without self-reliant communities at the grass root, it will not be possible to realize an international or global community. 

– Ramlal Parikh 

Association with other important NGOs in India & Abroad and Social Work 

Involved in variety of action programmes for rural development in designing, motivating, guiding field workers important organizations Include: 

  • Member, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi 
  • Treasurer, Gandhi Shanti Pratishthan. 
  • Managing Trustee, Sardar Memorial Trust 
  • Trustee, Mahadev Desai Memorial Trust 
  • Managing Trustee, Morarji Desai Smriti Trust 
  • Trustee Navjivan Trust 
  • Chairman, Indian Experiment in International Living
  • Managing Trustee, Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi 
  • Chairperson, Gujarat Council for End of Hunger (state level branch of The Hunger Project) 
  • Member, Jamnalal Bajaj Award Selection Committee, Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation 
  • Trustee, Thakorbhai Desai Memorial Trust 
  • Member, Gandhi Peace Foundation 
  • Manager, Lokchetana Trust 
  • Regional Director, International Community Education Association 
  • Chairman (India) of Goodwill, Cooperation, Service (GCS) International, South Korea 

Voluntary agencies must remember that their high Standard of Public morality alone will re-enforce the role of voluntary agencies in socio-economic development and will protect their autonomy. * * * 

The Sarvodaya philosophy of Gandhi encompasses all living being including the plant and animal kingdom. Aside from the external world or body, there is an inner world within ourselves. This awakened inner world produces feelings of compassion, love, service and forgiveness. It is argued that the relationship between peace within oneself and the external world is an intimate one, and the former precedes or is a precondition for the existence of latter. 

– Ramlal Parikh