150th Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and International Day of Non-Violence was observed on October 2, 2019. The birthday of Late Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Prime Minister of India was also observed on this day.
International Day of Non-Violence 2019
This day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through the resolution A/RES/61/271 dated 15 June 2007. This annual observance aims to propagate non-violence through education and public awareness.
150th Gandhi Jayanti celebrations in India
Following are the highlights of the various initiatives launched to commemorate the 150th Gandhi Jayanti celebrations in India:
Inauguration of Gandhi Katha by Pujya Morari Bapu in New Delhi
President of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Gandhi Katha by Pujya Morari Bapu at Gandhi Ashram, Kingsway Camp, New Delhi. The event was organised by Harijan Sevak Sangh.
PM Modi pens ode to ‘guiding light’ Gandhi in NY Times
As a tribute to Gandhiji, PM Modi wrote an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Why India and the World Need Gandhi”.
Inauguration of world’s largest plastic made charkha
Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textile Mrs Smriti Irani inaugurated a 1,650-kg ‘charkha’ (spinning wheel) made of plastic waste, the world’s largest, near the Mahamaya flyover in Sector 94, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
- It is 14 feet high, 20 feet long and width is 8 feet and was installed by the Noida authority.
- The Noida Apparel Export Cluster (NAEC) launched eco-friendly bags made out of cloth to curb the use of single-use plastic.
- Background: Earlier, in the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pitched for launching a ‘new mass movement’ against the single-use plastic from October 2,2019. As per the new law, manufacturers, suppliers, and sellers of plastic, and plastic products, across the country will now be required to phase out plastic made products within a span of two years.
Launch of ‘The Gandhian Challenge’
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) India, including Generation Unlimited, launched ‘The Gandhian Challenge’ for school children with an aim to support children to thrive as young innovators and entrepreneurs.
- Problem statement for Gandhian Challenge is– ‘Share your innovative solutions or ideas to create a futuristic and sustainable world of your dreams, following Gandhi’s principles.’
- The contest celebrates 70 years of partnership between Government of India and UNICEF India to enable Every Right for Every Child. It is open for every child in India from 2-20 October 2019.
- Categories: Art & Innovation (Letters, poems, painting, videos and photos, among others) and Science, Technology & Innovation (Robotics, IoT- Internet of Things, sensors and 3D printers, among others).
- Winners: The winners will be awarded in New Delhi by NITI Aayog’s (National Institution for Transforming India) Atal Innovation Mission and UNICEF on the occasion of Children’s Day on 14 November 2019.
Paryatan Parv 2019
The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the nationwide “Paryatan Parv 2019” in the presence of the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in New Delhi to propagate the message of ‘DekhoApna Desh’ and spread the message of ‘Tourism for All’.
- It is organised by the Ministry of Tourism from October 2- 13, 2019.
- The Delhi leg of the Parv is being held from 2nd to 6th October, 2019 at Rajpath lawns between Rafi Marg and Janpath.
- The three components of Paryatan Parv, are Dekho Apna Desh (To encourage Indians to visit their own country), Tourism for All and Tourism & Governance.
Digital Gandhi Gyan Vigyan Exhibition
The Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma inaugurated an exhibition titled “Digital Gandhi Gyan Vigyan Exhibition”. It was organised in collaboration with a technology start-up under incubation by IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), namely, M/s Vizara Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Delhi.
- It had 2 components namely: Immersive Virtual Reality experience based on the life of Gandhi, with special focus of his life at the Sabarmati Ashram.
- Charkha with an AR App which is a fabricated physical model of a Charkha which gets animated when seen through an AR (Augmented reality) app.
Global Student Solar Assembly
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in association with IIT Bombay, organized the Global Student Solar Assembly (workshop) to promote the Gandhian idea of sustainable living.
- Global Observance: Similar workshops were organised in other Indian cities and also in foreign countries joined by over 1 million students in 60 countries on a single day. The students became the Renewable Energy Ambassadors to carry the message green energy far and beyond.
The bilingual programme ‘Mahatma Lives’/’Bapu Zinda Hain’
- The bilingual programme – ‘Mahatma Lives’/’Bapu Zinda Hain‘ in which rarely heard audio clips of Mahatma Gandhi were featured as part of an hour-long television programme jointly hosted by UNESCO and Doordarshan (DD).
- It was telecasted on October 1, 2019 at 10 pm and repeated on October 2, 2019 at 5 pm across the country on DD News.
- It was jointly hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) New Delhi Director, Eric Falt, and renowned academician and historian Pushpesh Pant.
- The clips included the speeches of Gandhi from November 29, 1947, speeches on music, caste system and eternal set of duties (Sanatam Dharam) on June 7, 1947.
- 11 speakers from different walks of life, age and background also shared their personal experiences.
Swachhata Hi Seva India Plog Run
- Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation launched the Swachhata Hi Seva India Plog Run at Rajpath Lawn, India Gate
- He also launched the Delhi Cyclists Plog Run and a video on “SBM Toilets on Google Maps” which is an initiative that allows users to locate the nearest public toilet.
- The India Plog Run was also held in 50 cities across India by United Way of India and Go Native with active support from the Ministry.
Fit India Plog run
- Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C) Shri Kiren Rijiju flagged off Fit India Plog Run at Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi. It was organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- The minister was joined by plogger Ripu Daman, eminent sports persons, students belonging to different schools of Delhi, Doctors, NGOs, and other institutions.
Launch of statue of Mahatma Gandhi
Defence Minister Mr Rajnath Singh unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Sri Nagesh Garden in Delhi Cantonment which was was erected by the Directorate of Defence Estates.
Sarva Dharma Prarthana Sabha
A Sarva Dharma Prarthana Sabha was organised at Rajghat, the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi.
Member present: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, several Union Ministers and other leaders paid floral tributes to Bapu at his Samadhi.
A short tribute film HEY RAM
Union minister for information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar released a short tribute film HEY RAM showcasing how the seeds of fearlessness were sown early in Gandhi.
Screening of stock footage of Mahatma Gandhi’s life
- The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) held a special screening of selected stock footage from Mahatma Gandhi’s life at NFAI’s Law College premise, Maharashtra.
- NFAI had obtained 30 reels of several hours of unedited footage detailing several key events from Mahatma Gandhi’s life and his death.
- Road to Sangam (2010), a documentary by Amit Rai was also screened.
- A photo exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi was inaugurated at Balasaheb Thackeray Kaladan, Pune, Maharashtra. The event was inaugurated by Laxmikant Deshmukh, former president of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (ABMSS).
- 2 tableau processions on the life of Mahatma Gandhi were also held.
Gandhi Sankalp Yatra
Home Minister Amit Shah and other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders kick-started a four-month-long nationwide exercise “Gandhi Sankalp Yatra” in New Delhi and undertook 2-km-long ‘padyatra’ (foot march).
Gandhi Sandesh Padyatra
The Congress leaders celebrated the occasion by organising Gandhi Sandesh padyatra across the country. Rahul Gandhi joined the foot march in Delhi and it was led by interim President of Congress party Sonia Gandhi. It began from Delhi Congress office Rajiv Bhavan at Deendayal Upadhyay Marg and headed to Rajghat, about 3 kilometers away.
PM in Gujarat
Following are the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ahmedabad, Gujarat:
PM reached Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. He was accompanied by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani. He visited the Sabarmati Riverfront. He released a commemorative Rs 150 coin. He set a target to achieve the goal to eradicate ‘single-use plastic’ from India by the year 2022.
Rural India and its villages were declared ‘open defecation free’ (odf), by building over 11 crore toilets at the ‘Swachh Bharat Diwas‘ program in Ahmedabad. He also launched a book, ‘My Life, My Message’, published by the Sabarmati Ashram. It is on the life of Gandhi.
Delhi-NCR students create two Guinness records
The first record was in the category of ‘environmental sustainability lessons to the largest number of students at one place’ wherein close to 5,000 children participated.
The second record is of ‘the largest number of assembly and lighting of solar lamps’ in which more than 5,000 students took part.
Postage stamp Launched by French postal department
A postage stamp bearing the image of Mahatma Gandhi was issued by Franch postal service company La Poste on Wednesday to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma. Similar postage stamps were issued in Uzbekistan, Turkey, Palestine and other countries around the globe on Gandhi Jayanti.
- WAPCOS (Water and Power Consultancy Services) Limited, A Government of India Enterprise under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti organized a cleanliness drive at Chhath Ghat, New Delhi.
- The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ participated in a National Level Function organised by Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of HRD in New Delhi.
- Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari launched new KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission) products and a special sales campaign in New Delhi. He also launched low priced sanitary napkins developed by Ladlee, a new soap and kachchi ghani mustard oil.
Initiatives by other countries
- Indian High Commissioner to Madagascar Mr Abhay Kumar and city’s Mayor Lalao Ravalomanana jointly unveiled a restored commemorative plaque of the Mahatma Gandhi road in Antananarivo. The road was named after Mahatma Gandhi in 1969. It also organised a photo exhibition.
- Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology Ishaaq Seder released a commemorative postage stamp on Mahatma Gandhi, honouring his “legacy and values” in the presence of Representative of India in PA Sunil Kumar.
- The Indian mission in Ramallah, Palestine has organised several events over the past one year to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri along with other dignitaries unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe unveiled a bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi at his official residence ‘Temple Trees’ in Sri Lanka.
♦ Parent Organization: Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
♦ Chairman: Vinai Kumar Saxena
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France
♦ Director General: Audrey Azoulay
♦ Headquarters: New York, US
♦ Executive Director: Henrietta Holsman Fore