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The Mahatma on the World Wide Web Project was conceived by a core group working with me in mid 1997. Kanakasabapathy Pandyan and Vijay Mukhi were the first people to advise me to set up a website, after listening to my vision about an electronic source of Gandhian information.

Miheer Mafatlal willingly obliged me by agreeing to host the site at the end of his leased line. Soon we were working on the preliminary web site with the team of technicians provided by Pandyan and on 2nd October 1997 the pilot web site of the Mahatma on the World Wide Web was launched. To our surprise Yahoo picked up the site as a recommended site for the subject and also in its pick of the week section. This was when the material on the site was only a microcosm of what we had estimated.
Mihir Mafatlal
The web site was envisaged to host 250,000 pages of text, everything written by the Mahatma and about the Mahatma; over 45,000 photographs of the Mahatma; hundreds of Cartoons featuring him; 48 hours of Audios of his speeches and 5 and half hours of video. In the Pilot site we had only two books a few hundred photographs and cartoons, yet we were adjudged the most comprehensive web site on Mahatma Gandhi.

It was during this period that we formed a core group of advisors for the Mahatma on the World Wide Web Project the original group of Kanakasabapathy Pandyan, Vijay Mukhi was expanded by co-opting Harish Mehta CEO and Managing Director of Onward Novell and Dewang Mehta of NASSCOM.As the scope of work increased I was indebted to Pandyan for maintaining and building the web site and bearing all the costs involved. We had envisaged the scope of work, then we estimated the financial requirement to build and maintain such a site. We were offered the hosting facilities by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, I am thankful to the PMO and Communications Ministry for granting this facility to us .On 30th January 1998 we added a new section to our site dealing with the "Murder of the Mahatma" "The Last Days" it was the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi we posted books dealing with the assassination of the Mahatma, pictures and information about the murderers, the conspiracy and the weapons. For the first time we made available The Black & White documentary films of the funeral. So now was a multi-media site. We are grateful to Tilak, Munjal and Tony of Graphiti Multimedia for converting the VHS videos into short film clips playable over the net.

Vijay Mukhi
Kanakasabapathy Pandyan
The next make over came as we decided to design a better home page for our site Nirav Sanghvi of Nettalk took up the task and designed the new home page for us; The pilot site was now shaping up very well.

It was during this time that we achieved a major break through Kanwal S. Rekhi, Esq. and B. V. Jagadeesh, Esq. of TIE Global, USA gave us a grant of US$250,000 each. A further US$250,000 is promised by two more members of TIE, this grant was augmented by Harish Mehta who gave us Rs.2,500,000. Thus the Mahatma on the World Wide Web Project was now on steam and we were now equipped with the resources to give shape to something that a few years back was just a part of my day dreams.

Kanakasabapathy Pandyan who was now heading a new company Vegaa eServices Pvt. Ltd. contracted with the Foundation to provide the manpower to build the site and to liaison with other vendors who would provide technical services for the project. They have signed up with a Vadodara based data entry company Baroda Express Dot Com to do the data entry work of the 260 plus books that will one day soon start appearing on the site.

The Vegaa team comprises of P.S. Baktha our Administrative Manager on whom we learned to lean on for advise, he is the youngest at heart old man of the team. Bakthaji is assisted by R. Venkat who does all the running around. Next came the software engineers, Nipun Mapara, the harried professor of a girls college who gave up all the Bimbets to seek peace on the project, Anoop Menon, Sameer Menon and Amol Tatkare do the coding, software development and system administration work, at least that's what they make us believe. The baby of the office Sudhir Gattawar joined us in the graphics department his self confessed motive for working on the project is that he wants to put on weight, he was soon joined by the racing car enthusiast Deepankar Sadekar who always drives a Ferrari in his dreams and hopes to drive one in reality one day soon. Yousuf and Krishna our office assistants do all the indoor and out door work and ensure that we are all fed and supplied with tea coffee whenever required.

The Mahatma Gandhi Foundation would like to thank every one who has helped in making the Mahatma On the World Wide Web Project a reality. We would like to thank our partner organisation in the US The M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-violence, Memphis,

The site is being built but we are nowhere near completion as is said, "The woods are dark and deep and there's miles to go before I sleep".

We seek help from those who can, in any manner.

Tushar A. Gandhi,
Managing Trustee
Mahatma Gandhi Foundation
Rishiket Apartment, Gr. Floor,
N.T.Malusare Lane, Irla,
Off. S.V.Road, Vile Parle (West),
Mumbai 400 056,
Telefax : (+91 - 22) 26704603
Wednesday, 24th January 2001

Created & maintained for Mahatma Gandhi Foundation by Vegaa eServices Pvt Ltd.
Hosted by VSNL.
The site features streaming audio and video.
Last updated on October 2, 2002.

Tushar Gandhi

Section last updated on : 30th January, 2002