Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the towering figures of the 20th century and revered the world over. His name was synonymous with a way of life that has altered the course of history ‚Äď a name that continues to inspire millions to this day.

On October 2 morning, about 100 members of the South Asian community from the GTA (Greater Tronto Area) gathered at the peace park in Vishnu Mandir to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti, the 152nd birth anniversary, where the nine-foot-high bronze statue of Gandhiji stands tall. 

The UN General Assembly, through a resolution in 2007, designated October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence to coincide with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

“This event will enrich our youth’s minds, helping them teach the high morals taught by Mahatma Gandhiji,” announced¬†Chintan Bhavsar, NYCO Founder, Executive Director, in her opening remarks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau¬†sent his greetings in a letter to NYCO. This letter states, “Today is an important opportunity for Canadians and for people across the globe to show their gratitude and respect for Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings and reflect on how we can all do our part in living peacefully with one another.”¬†

Furthermore, the letter ends with an encouraging statement: “This year, we faced significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, while our celebrations may differ from previous years, they still hold the same significance and meaning.”

For the first time in Canada, NYCO presented a live demonstration of Peti Chakra (Box Spinning Wheel) by Mr. Rameshchandra Trivedi, Ex Coordinator Kochrab Ashram, Amdavad, India. 

Chintan Bhavsar and the chief Guests initiated the lamp lighting ceremony; his excellency, the high commissioner of India, Ottawa, Ajay Bisaria, and the Honorable Consul General of India, Toronto – Apoorva Srivastava graced the event with their attendance. 

Other special guests who joined this ceremony are Dr. Doobay, Founder of Vishnu Mandir, and Ms. Sumeeta Kohli, Panorama India, accompanied by live singing of Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye by Prabha Subhadra. At the event, the audience observed respectful recitation of both the Canadian and Indian National Anthem.  

“Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy and the message of non-violence and peace resonates with older generations and even the younger ones,” said his excellency¬†Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India to Canada. “Multiple freedom movements across the world have acknowledged and has inspired many other nations to practice individual transformation through meditation, fasting, and personal conduct.”

Nataraj Youth Cultural Organization (NYCO) brings people together through performing and visual arts. In addition, NYCO aims to organize several other events and activities throughout the year. Recently, the Gujarat Float at the India Day Parade was a winner and has been since 2010. Moreover, during the pandemic, NYCO, with Arpan Foundation, provided food seva to more than 500 people for three months.

“The Great Soul enlightened the World by teaching karma (deeds) and sacrifices, non-violence, and Satya Mev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails), a slogan to live our lives truthfully,” said Honorable Consul General of India, Toronto –¬†Ms. Apoorva Srivastava.¬†

NYCO introduced the Peace Walk as the closing act of the event. The audience observed physical distancing, masks, and lined up in twos to walk around the temple’s parking lot. 

Advisory Board member and the event Master of Ceremony Tushar Unadkat, MUKTA Advertising, played a crucial role in the event’s success while keeping the show on schedule and the audience engaged.

With delicious refreshments, a note of thanks by Mr. Ketan Gandhi, VP Board, cheered all volunteer participants, sponsors, and media supporters, namely Gujarat News line, Gujarat Abroad, Gujarat Weekly, Swadesh, Radio Muskaan, GTA News Production, Global Governance news, India.

NYCO thanks Dr. Doobay for hosting the event at the Vishnu Mandir.

Special Acknowledgements

NYCO Board of Director
Chintan Bhavsar, Ketan Gandhi, N V Sonderva, Praful Bhavsar, Ajit Patel
Honorary Advisory Board
Asha Aditi Rupareliya, Dr. Mafatbhai Patel, and Tushar Unadkat
Executive Committee
Dhruv Bhavsar, Maharshi Bhavsar, Nisarg Lakhmani

NYCO is grateful to 

  1. Mr. Sudeep Varma, Connexions Telecom Ltd, for the support. 
  2. Jigisha Patel, Hema Dave, and Atul Shah for volunteering.
  3. Nisarg Media Production for live-streaming the event.
  4. Mithilesh Solanki, Piyush Sharma, & Dhruv Bhavsar for helping with the design.
  5. Maharshi Bhavsar for her assistance with event organization.

For more information on NYCO, visit www.nycocanada.com.

~30~

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.