November 30th, 2011 00:47 EST
Mahatma Gandhi Foundation: A Wonderful Experience
At the invitation of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation located in the city of Medellin, Colombia [South America], I had the opportunity to visit the city on the first fortnight of September, 2011. Particularly, to witness a week of celebrations organized by the Foundation.
Mahatma Gandhi Foundation was established on October 2, 2002 by Mr. Harivadan Shah, a noble, enthusiastic and successful businessman from India. Mr. Shah from a young age had been impressed by the two fundamentals of Ahimsa-based Gandhian philosophy namely, the Trusteeship and the Sarvodaya they encouraged him to establish the Foundation.
From its very beginning, the Foundation, not only provides assistance to the people of Columbia, youth in particular, with the purpose of making them self-reliant, is continuously conducting various programmes related to awareness in the field of education for people living in very remote areas of the country. Undoubtedly, the work and efforts of the Foundation is praiseworthy and commendable. In my opinion the establishment of this Foundation is important mainly for the following two reasons:
1-In a country like Colombia that for decades has been severely affected by violence and war an attempt to introduce Columbians to a peace driven philosophy such as that of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. It will also require the help of other peace loving nations and their contributions will create an atmosphere of trust and harmony. Moreover, this type of effort will dramatically increase cooperation among people belonging to different communities, groups and ethnicities.
2-Universal principles like that of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, which emerged in India during ancient times and is now rapidly gaining popularity due to the continuously increasing process of globalization and thus rapidly converting the world into a global village becoming a reality, such kind of work plays the vital role.
Mrs. Hasita Shah, wife of Mr. Shah extends all cooperation and helps in any way that she can when it comes to the carrying out of the day to day activities of the Foundation, which is a subject of great satisfaction to her. The positive environment also leads to a happy and cooperative attitude of the subordinates and coworkers of Mr. Shah who participate with enthusiasm in all activities and events of the Foundation. I personally observed this during my participation in the weeklong festival in September, 2011 in which I had a wonderful experience.
It goes without saying, these types of efforts inspire unprecedentedly. Much can be learned from such excellent work particularly by those people of Indian origin who are living in other parts of the world.
By Dr. Ravindra Kumar
Universally renowned Gandhian scholar, Indologist and writer Dr. Ravindra Kumar is the Former Vice-Chancellor of CCS University of Meerut