Chicago IL: The Gandhi Memorial Trust in collaboration with Village of Skokie and consulate general of India, organized the remembrance at larger than life, bronze statue of Mahatma, located at the Heritage Public Park in Skokie, Illinois. Between 10 to 12 PM. Confronting fall type Chicago’s cold windy and rainy day, almost 155 Gandhi admirers and followers attended the occasion, Event began by offerings of flower and reciting his favorite song “Vaishnav vajan…., by Bollywood singer Poonam Bhatia.
October 2, 2019 was the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born in Porbandar, India; He led perhaps the biggest mass movement in the world. The hallmark of this movement was non-violence. It is in recognition of his contributions that the United Nations has declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-violence.
Village of Skokie Mayor, Village Trustees; Indian Consulate General honorable Mr. Sudhakar Dalela with consulate team; Mrs. Santosh Kumar and staff of Universal Metro Asian Services (UMAS), and almost 155 supporters graced the occasion
Opening speech by founder and Chairman Dr. Chandrakant M. Modi, highlighted narration of establishment of Mahatma’s statue 15 years ago. He acknowledged pivotal supportive role played by the Mayor and village Trustees and entire team. Dr. Modi concluded “If Gandhi’s teaching is followed today, no one have to die to go to haven”, that place will be existent right now on our planet.
The Mayor of Skokie Honorable Mr. George Van Dusen started his speech by that Gandhi’s strength came from his spirituality, his honesty and simplicity and, of course, his absolute conviction. “a Quote on Gandhi, by Albert Einstein had who said, “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” He further remarked Gandhi’s strength came from his spirituality, his honesty and simplicity and, of course, his absolute conviction. The village of Skokie of appreciates the steadfast services of the Gandhi Memorial representatives to bring here through the sculpture and taking active role in spreading his universal eternal message of truth, tolerance and non-violence. He further added that since inception of the statue, every year, in honor of this universal man Gandhi, the village has proclaims October 2nd as peace day.
Honorable Mr. Sudhakar Dalela, Counsel General of India, shared Gandhi’s role in achieving monumental task of attaining the goal of independence of India by non-violence movement. Gandhi’s words, actions and methods won over the masses and as a result, several joined him as he led momentous the “Dandi Salt March” in 1930. In 1942, he launched the Quit India Movement.
Honerable Daleja also shared the messages from President and prime minister of India on this occasion and congratulated the Gandhi Memorial community to continue spreading the message of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Chairperson of Universal Metro Asian Services (UMAS), Chicago, thanked everyone for coming out in large numbers to celebrate Gandhiji’s birthday and vowed to keep up serving the community in the best manner.
Special award was Given to the Mr. Adil Syed, one of grandson of freedom fighter Mr. Khan Abdul Gafar Khan also called Sarhad ke Gandhi as he was native of border of pre-independence India and Afghanistan.
Mr. Satish Chander closed the event with a vote of thanks. He specially thanked extra ordinary perennial support from entire Village of Skokie officials including mayor, board of trustee village manager Mr. Lockerby, Ms. Cathy Stevens and staff of forestry dept, Security department including chef of Police Mr. AnthonyScarpelli, Indian consulate Mr. Sudhakar Daleja and whole consulate staff, Mr. Santoshkumar, Mrs. Jasbir Kour and UMAS staff for catering snacks and hot brew. The event like this would not have been possible without volunteer supports; Harish Kolasani, Dayal Patel, Muktesh Shah for help with transport and distribution of Snacks and juices, Mrs. Bharati Shah, Dina and Amee Modi, Mina Patel, Sudha Guruji, Mira Chander, DJ Mr. Safi, Shobhana Patel from Asian Media USA capture this historical event in video.
Snacks and beverages at the conclusion of the event were provided courtesy of Raja food owned by Swetal Patel and Family. Hot tea was served by courtesy of Mrs. Jasbir Kaur and her team of volunteers from MFAS.