Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Kanubhai Ramdas Gandhi is living with his wife in a home for the destitute in Delhi’s Badarpur area.
The two moved to Delhi’s Guru Vishram Vridh Ashram on May 8, to live with about 125 other old inmates.
Kanubhai is the same little boy who was famously captured on camera, pulling Mahatma’s walking stick and leading him on a brisk beach-side walk.
He is Mahatma’s third son Ramdas’s son and is 87-year-old today.
Kanubhai and his wife have no children and had returned to India back in 2014, after spending more than forty years in the U.S.
Kanubhai Gandhi (in white kurta) and his wife Dr. Shiva Gandhi (extreme left) The Hindu
After coming back to India, they have lived in various ashrams across Gujarat and have now moved to Delhi. Though its not clear how they ended up in this situation. When asked, Mrs. Gandhi said
“People have their ups and downs. We destroyed everything that we had and we came here. It’s a long story. We are searching for a place where we can meet interesting people. We are searching if there is any old-age home for NRIs here.. we have “reasonable” money to opt for such a facility if made available to us. We were living a luxurious life until recently. In the past one year, circumstances have made Kanu much older. Like the other grandchildren, Kanu was never interested in politics or staying in the media.”
Kanubhai then goes on to explain:
“After Bapu’s death, Jawaharlal Nehru and U.S. Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith sent me to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study applied mathematics. Mr. Galbraith had initially suggested I go to Harvard Business School. But I said I won’t make it to Harvard because I am stupid.”
He was 17 when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and for a long time lived in Hampton, Virginia where he worked for NASA Langley Research Centre.
Ms. Gandhi meanwhile held a Ph.D in biochemistry and initially taught in Boston before leaving the the job to do research at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute.