Celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 153rd Birthday as 1000 Lights for Peace took place on Sunday, October 2nd , 2022, at the Arya Samaj Greater Houston (ASGH).
The 1000 Lights for Peace program started at 5 pm with a warm welcome from Mr. Sanjay Jain who serves on the Board of both ASGH and Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston (EGMH).
This was followed by a multi faith invocation by Acharya ji Bramdeo Mokoonlal (ASGH), Rev Mindy Curtiss-Lawrence, Associate Minister from Unity Houston, and Ms. Farah Lalani, a member of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center.
The invocation was followed by Swar Sangam School of Music students, led by the talented Smriti Srivastav who rendered 2 beautiful bhajans: Ganpati Vandana and Vaishnava Janato (one of Gandhiji’s favorite). She was accompanied by accomplished Mr. Raja Banga on the tabla.
Khushi Kawedia, 9th grader from Dulles High School winner of the Middle and High School speech contest, inspired the crowd by reciting her winning speech “How can I make the world a better place.”
Next was a graceful dance performed by the talented Houston group Tropical Rhythms, performing 3 dances from Tahiti.
This was followed by a heartfelt speech by our Chief Guest, Honorable Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George. Mr. Sam Merchant, representing Congressman Al Green’s office also offered his tribute to Gandhiji and congratulated EGMH for securing the $3 million Community Project grant approved by the House Appropriations Committee and Senate.
Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George and Mr. Atul Kothari, Co-founder and board member of EGMH, handed out awards to more than 20 student winners of the state-wide contests conducted by EGMH. The winners were announced by contest co-coordinator Ms. Jasmine Pirani.
Ishana Gautam, a 3rd grader at Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary School in Katy, Texas dazzled the crowd with her brilliant winning speech in the 11 and under age group describing “How do I practice peace?”
Next was a colorful performance by Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico directed by Ms. Nelly M Fraga, as they presented dances from the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
Kushi Kawedia also won 1st place in the I-tribute contest “Role of media in conflict resolution” and showed her multimedia presentation on the large screen.
Board Member of EGMH, Dr. Manish Wani then made a presentation on Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston with updates regarding the construction and fundraising and plans for the grand opening in 2023. For further information, please visit egmh.org.
The spectacular evening concluded with the symbolic lighting of a candle by all as a virtual pledge to observe peace in their own lives. The crowd reflected on how to emulate Mahatma Gandhi’s life listening to the soothing song “Imagine” by John Lennon.
The crowd was then treated to some delicious snacks from Dawaat Catering, concluding the auspicious program.
To learn more about Mahatma Gandhi Library and all its activities, please visit egmh.org or contact Dr. Manish Wani at 713-829-6979.