I believe that Gandhiji is the only leader in our country who has talked consistently with common-sense about the building needs of our country. What he said many years ago is even more pertinent now. One of the things he said that impressed me and has influenced my thinking more than anything else was that the ideal houses in the ideal village will be built of materials which are all found within a five-mile radius of the house. ….I confess that as a young architect, born, brought up, educated and qualified in the West, I thought at first Gandhiji’s ideal was a bit ‘far-fetched’ and I used to argue to myself that of course he propbably did not intend us to take this ideal too literally.
But now, in my seventies and with forty years of building behind me, I have come to the conclusion that he was right, literally word for word, and that he did not mean that there could be exceptions. If only I had not been so proud and sure of my learning and my training as an architect, I could have seen clearly wonderful examples of Gandhiji’s wisdom all round me throughout the entire period I lived in the Pithoragarh district.