1. On the occasion of the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the High Commission of India in Nairobi in association with the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON); the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Kenya-India Friendship Association (KIFA) organised a grand event to celebrate the 10th International Day of Non-Violence on 3 October 2016 at Taifa Hall of the University of Nairobi. The event was organised outside the U.N. premises for the first time.
2. In her opening remarks, High Commissioner Ms Suchitra Durai underlined the importance of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of nonviolence and truth in today’s world. She informed the audience about India’s submission of the instruments of ratification of Paris Agreement to UN on the Gandhi Jayanti and importance of adaptation of 'Gandhian way of life' to reduce carbon footprints and protect the earth from adverse impact of climate change. Director General of UNON Ms. Sahle Work-Zewde read out a special message of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN. Ms. Sahle Work-Zewde, highlighted the Gandhi’s ideals for protecting environment and urged the International Community to work towards achieving peace and sustainable development.
3. Prof PLO Lumumba, the Director General of the Kenyan School of Law (who's reputed as one of Kenya's best public speakers) was the star speaker. He delivered a special address on the “Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in today’s world”. He highlighted the multi-dimensionality of Mahatma Gandhi’s personality and his philosophy and its relevance today. He emphasised that several individuals and movements all over the world have been influenced by the Gandhian philosophy and the relevance of the message of Mahatma Gandhi is beyond doubt as people, even today need to develop innovative, non-violent ways to overcome oppression and, combat discrimination particularly in Africa.
4. As a follow up to the announcement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kenya in July 2016, the High Commissioner and Vice Chancellor of the UoN, Dr. Peter Mbithi signed an MoU on for renovation of the Mahatma Gandhi Graduate Library at the University of Nairobi. The High Commissioner handed over a cheque of US $ 1 million to the Chancellor of the University Dr. Vijoo Rattansi.
5. A short documentary titled “the Visionary Dreamer” produced by Prasar Bharti was screened. A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi was paid by performing Bhajans- Vaishnava Janato and Raghupati Raghava Rajaram. A presentation titled ‘a simple man, the world calls Mahatma” produced by XPD Division, Ministry of External Affairs was screened prior to the event. A special photo exhibition of 14 panels prepared by the High Commission on the life and message of Mahatma Gandhi both in English and Swahili was displayed at the University.
6. The event was attended by over 500 people including High Commissioners /Ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps, faculty and students of the University of Nairobi and representatives of Indian Community in Kenya including Pravasi Bharatiya Awardee Dr. Manu Chandaria and media.
(Nairobi -3 October 2016)