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Peace Trophy designed ahead of Gandhi’s birth anniversary

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By Ashok Ramsarup :: As the United Nations has honoured freedom fighter – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – marking his 150th birth anniversary in New York, the father of modern-day liberation has become an important symbol of hope, peace and freedom all over the world.

Indian-born Peace Activist JANAK PAREKH has designed a rare peace trophy ahead of Gandhi’s birth anniversary that takes place on the 2nd October around the world.   The U.N. declared the day as the International Day of Non-Violence.  The peace trophy has the picture of Gandhi, Nobel Laureates Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

Parekh said the trophy which took him three years to come up with pictures and inscriptions in 25 languages, was a milestone in the quest for peace in many young democracies.

He said: “The aim of the peace trophy is to encourage the youth in the 21st century to recognise, act and apply the legacy left by world icons.

“The inscription of the Sanskrit word  “Parth” that means a person who never misses a target is for all law-abiding citizens. Peace, with Parth, never misses the target of thriving to attain harmony irrespective of the adversities faced in the world today targeting the youth, ”  underscored Parekh.

Gandhi led one of the biggest mass peace movements in the world. Parekh recalled: “The movement was non-violent that was undertaken during the apartheid era in South Africa and Gandhi later went on to defeat the colonial rule that was dominated by the British.  It is one of the reasons the U.N. is supportive of Gandhi’s vision and teachings that are highly respected for his transformative and inspirational values.

“Gandhi has left an indelible mark in the fight for the rights and dignity of all people and promoting non-violence that captured the hearts of everyone.

“The South African youth can learn from the legacy of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and Mandela for creating unity in diversity and above all using peace as an important vehicle to share the gospel of love and humility,” said Parekh.

He recognized the political work carried out by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party in 1975 but indicated he was one of the deserving candidates for the peace trophy.  Buthelezi worked closely with Swami Sahajananda Sarasvati of the Divine Life Society of South Africa. They built scores of classrooms in disadvantaged communities, including clinics, care centres, and homes for children and the elderly.

Parekh said the Gandhi Development Trust of South Africa Executive Director Ela Gandhi recommended that the peace trophy concept be forwarded to a United Nations official working in New Delhi so that the goodwill message of peace reaches South Asia.

Parekh concluded by quoting the words of Gandhi “Be the change that you want to see in the world” and reaching the U.N. ideals of Sustainable Development Goals.

Ashok Ramsarup is award-winning senior journalist of South Africa 🇿🇦

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