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Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the main commemorative event was organized in Chicago in the evening of October 2, 2019 by the National Council of Asian Indian Associations (NCAIA) in collaboration with the Consulate General of India, Chicago, and with the support of Indian American community organizations at the Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago.
The event was attended by over 300 guests, which included U.S. elected representatives, friends of India from businesses, academia, media, arts and culture, members of the Indian American community and Indian nationals. Deputy Mayor of Chicago Mr. Samir Mayekar, Cook County Board President Ms. Toni Preckwinkle, State Senator Ram Villivalam and Mayors from neighboring town attended the commemorative event.
Welcoming the guests, Mr. Harish Kolasani, President, NCAIA appreciated the wholehearted support of Indian Community organizations to celebrate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in Chicago in a befitting manner.
In his welcome remarks, Consul General Sudhakar Dalela recalled the ideals and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and their relevance for the contemporary world. Consul General also outlined a number of events organized in the course of sesquicentennial celebrations in the Chicago area and U.S. mid-west, and planned for the coming weeks by the vibrant Indian community.
The event included a one-hour cultural programme, with music and dance performance on “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” by Natya Dance Theatre and Surabhi Ensemble; a rendition of Bapu’s favourite bhajan “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye” by Ms. Anita Lerche, reflection of students from IIT, Chicago on the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, rendition of bhajan by eminent vocalist Indira Naik, and a skit “Gandhi Ek Yugpursh” coordinated by “United for Peace” team and performed by Chicago-based Mandi Theatre Group.
In recognition of the important legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot proclaimed October 02, 2019 to be “Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago”.
The Senate of Illinois State passed a Resolution declaring October 02, 2019, as the “State Day of Peace to Non-Violence” to coincide with the International Day of Non-Violence and encourage the people of Illinois to observe the State Day of Peace to Non-Violence with appropriate ceremonies, programmes and activities.
Ms. Santosh Kumar, Executive Director, MAFS and Chairperson (US Mid-West), NCAIA presented the vote of thanks. Another event was organized in the morning of October 2 by the Gandhi Memorial, Chicago, in collaboration with the Consulate, where floral tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi at his statue in the Skokie Village, neighboring the City of Chicago. It was a gathering of about 100 people, including Mayor and officials of Skokie village, Consul General, members of Indian American community organizations and Indian nationals.