Over 300 students took part in an activity to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Indian Nation’.
The activity, as part of Grand Finale of 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, was organized at the Sri Sathya Sai School, Saysettha district, Vientiane on Oct 01, by the school in cooperation with the Embassy of India to the Lao PDR.
The Father of the Nation—as Mahatma Gandhi is known in India—was the architect of India’s freedom struggle and inspired many other countries around the world to successfully seek independence from their colonial masters.
In 2007, the UN General Assembly declared Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday 2nd October as the International Day of Non-Violence.
“The best way to pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi is to follow his ideals of non-violence, peace, respect for other human beings, understanding the pain of others, respect for the environment, and, finally, self-reliance, which is becoming increasingly relevant in the present context,” said the Ambassador of India to the Lao PDR Dinkar Asthana.
He noted that the ideas of non-violence and compassion were also central themes of Buddhism and urged the students to follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
Sri Sathya Sai School is a school registered with the Ministry of Education of the Lao PDR and a glowing example of the mutual affinity and closeness of the fine Indian and Lao traditions and cultures.
“I am glad that this is the first time for our school to have organized activities to marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” said Mr Khen Outamay, Director of Sri Sathya Sai School.
“The history of Mahatma Gandhi as well as his teachings to people – to be moral, just and peaceful – will be taught to young students,” said Mr Khen Outamay.
The activity began with the chanting of Buddhist prayers by the students, followed by the playing of Vedic Mantras from Rigveda and two documentaries on Mahatma Gandhi dubbed in Lao.
Then, a bhajan or devotional song that used to be a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi—’Vaishnav Jan to Tene Kahiye’—sung by the famous Lao singer Phonesavanh Inthavong was played. The students of the school performed traditional Lao dances and also sang ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’, a song the Mahatma cherished.
President of the Lao-India Friendship Association Bountiem Phisamay, his deputy Khanthong Manotham as well as some members of the Indian diaspora were also present at the event.
Source: Lao News Agency