Speech on the celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and United Nations International Day of Non-violence

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Speech on the celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and United Nations International Day of Non-violence

[2nd October 2019]

Your Excellency Ali bin Khalfan Al Jabri, Undersecretary, Ministry of Information
Dignitaries from Government of Oman
Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps
Sister B.K. Jayanti Kirpalani,
Members of Indian community,
Distinguished Guests,

Good evening!

            I am delighted to welcome you all to the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and to observe the UN International Day of Non-Violence. This event has been organized by the Indian Embassy in association with Rajyoga Centre for Self-development.

            We are in the middle of two-year long celebrations to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the great apostle of peace and non-violence and the Father of the Indian nation. Last year, on 2nd October 2018, we launched the celebrations through a mega event which was attended by over 1500 persons. I am delighted that we once again have a large gathering on this occasion.

            Friends, Gandhiji’s message of peace and non-violence is of universal and eternal relevance. It is more relevant today than ever before as the world faces numerous conflicts. It was in recognition of this fact that the United Nations decided to observe the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as the International Day of Non-violence.

            Further, Gandhiji’s emphasis on sustainability is most relevant in today’s scenario when the whole world is facing the catastrophic consequences of climate change. As Gandhiji had said, “The world has enough for everyone's needs, but not everyone's greed”.

            His concept of Sarvodaya (upliftment of all) seeks that benefits of growth and development should reach all sections of society. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which the international community has collectively agreed on, are essentially in line with the Gandhian way of life.

            In India, the Government consciously tries to incorporate the Gandhian approach in its programmes and schemes. The Sultanate of Oman, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, is a living example of continued relevance of Gandhiji’s ideals.

            The Embassy of India has been organizing a series of events to create greater awareness about the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. We have made special efforts to reach out to the youth of Indian, Omani as well as other nationalities. We have organized online quizzes, talks, tree plantation drive and screening of documentaries. Coinciding with today’s event, we had organized a photography competition and the winning entries have been displayed.

            I am also happy to announce that earlier today, “Student Solar Ambassador Program” was organized in 15 Indian schools across Oman under which students joined a global event to make their own solar study lamps and pledged non-violence towards environment. This event was organized in association with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

            We are encouraged by the enthusiastic response and participation in these events. I would like to thank Government of Oman for its wholehearted support to our efforts.

            In the coming months, we will organize more events including a Khadi Exhibition and a Vegetarian Food Festival. I invite all of you, your friends and family members especially children to actively participate. 

            I take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Sister B.K. Jayanti Kriplani, a renowned motivational speaker, who will speak on the theme of “One Heart One Mind One World”.

            I would like to thank all of you for joining us today. Special thanks to H.E. Ali bin Khalfan Al Jabri, Undersecretary Ministry of Information, for gracing this occasion as the Chief Guest. I hope all of you will find today’s programme meaningful and enriching.

Thank you!