New York: The Consulate General of India, New York in collaboration with many organizations commemorated the 151st Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. These celebrations marked the conclusion of the two-year-long celebration of Gandhi@150.
The Consulate, along with members of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and International Ahimsa Foundation observed International Day of Non-violence by paying respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Union Square in Manhattan on October 2. Congressman Gregory Meeks from New York said in his message: “Just as Martin Luther King Jr. chose to be a disciple of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent protest, so too must we his disciple to use the power of our values to bend the moral arc of history towards justice”. Congress members Tom Suozzi (NY), Frank Pallone (NJ), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Chrissy Houlahan (PA), Brad Wenstrup (OH) and Steve Chabot (OH) sent their greetings and thoughts on Gandhiji’s life through video messages.
Consul General Randhir Jaiswal unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the town of Amherst near Buffalo, NY, on October 2. Council of Heritage and Arts of India (CHAI), a community organization, collaborated with the Consulate and ICCR in installing this bust. The Buffalo area has a significant presence of Indian American community and students. Speaking on the occasion, CG Jaiswal emphasized how teachings of the Mahatma are relevant for the youth today and how Gandhian values can help nurture a harmonious society and a green planet. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, NY Assemblywoman Karen McMahon and Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa were present on the occasion.
Over in New Jersey, the Gandhian Society and India based Gandhi Research Foundation organized an exhibition highlighting the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi as well as his impact on world leaders and relevance of his teachings today. The exhibition was held from September 30 – October 2 at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, NJ. Besides the Consul General, John McCormac, Mayor of Woodbridge Township, and prominent members of Indian community participated.
In partnership with the Consulate, Gandhi Memorial Society of Columbus, Ohio conducted a virtual speech contest on ‘Mahatma Gandhi – His Life and what I have learned from it’. The contest for three age groups from ages 6 – 25 years saw good participation.
The Consulate also conducted an online quiz competition, a video competition wherein participants had to send a 1-minute video on themes based on Gandhiji’s life. A painting competition was also held. Some 250 youth participated in the competitions. Winners were presented gifts and books by Mahatma Gandhi. A virtual Gandhi Katha was also organized with Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna of Gandhian Forum for Ethical Corporate Governance.