Chandigarh, September 28; “Peacemaking is not a retirement plan; it is a way of life.” This was reinforced once again at the Inaugural day of International Youth Peace Festival by Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. He took a session on ‘Volunteering for a better world’. He was of the opinion that the youth of today have a beautiful opportunity to exploit their potential and turn their world into a world of peace. They not only play a significant role in changing minds, but also to unite cultures by forcing aggression away.To make youngsters reflect upon the basic values of love and peace, and inculcate the same into their hearts, Tushar Gandhi conveyed his simple, yet thought-provoking values, to the youngsters attending the unique peace festival in which students from over 25 countries are participating. Volunteers today have the major responsibility of carrying the seed of peace to their respective cultures and traditions.
“I may not be able to stop war, but I will surely prevent it by peace building. Aspiring a dream without compromises and contradictions works like magic. It is the best way of dealing with retaliation and force,” said Tushar Gandhi.
Second powerful speaker today was Madhu Purnima Kishwar a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and founder- Director of Manushi journal. She shared that technologies like amniocenteses and ultrasound, used in most parts of the world largely detecting foetal abnormalities, are used in large parts of the Indian subcontinent for determining the sex of foetus so that the mother can have an abortion if the foetus in the womb happens to be female. And rapid spread of such tests resulted in selective abortions of thousands of female fetuses. And now young people should take up this increasing societal violence against women by women should also take a stand rather than playing the role of victim.
“Bapu only required a fistful of salt to defy the British. We only need to have our own vision unclouded, look into each other’s hearts and realize that the colors of our skin may be different, but we are human beings and that is what we are meant to be,” shared Bernie Meyer the American Gandhi participating in the programme.
Others who spoke on the occasion today includes SK Setia, HCS, Amita Dahiya, Programme Coordinator, UN Volunteers, American Gandhi Donald McAvinchey, Prof. Anirudh Joshi, General Secretary, GGD SD College Governing body and Reeta Kohli, Addl. Advocate General of Punjab.
Later in the evening for all the international & national guests NZCC (North Zone Cultural Centre) & Yuvsatta arranged a special multicultural evening of folk dances and music in which over 200 artists performed from over twelve states of India. And Shivraj V. Patil, Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh Administration was the Chief Guest on the occasion.