ZIRO- The granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee said she was privileged to visit Arunachal Pradesh, the land of the rising sun unlike her grandfather who did not have that opportunity. She also urged the people of Arunachal Pradesh to initiate a new movement of Sarvodaya championing the ideals of Gandhi -Truth, Love, Kindness and Bravery for a better and more human society.
Inaugurating a series of centres at Mahatma Gandhi Centre at Hong village in Ziro during the Gandhi Jayanti celebration here yesterday, the 94 year old Gandhi shared her heartfelt inspirational connections with her iconic grandfather Mahatma Gandhi.
Tara Gandhi informed she had been associated with Mahatma Gandhi till the age of 14 and remembers meeting him in jails and railway journeys. She described Gandhi as a man of the moment who spoke about the future, emphasizing his ability to resolve disagreements and turn adversaries into friends. She encouraged children to remember Gandhi for his simplicity and infectious smile, portraying him as a spiritual sage (Rishi) who lived a disciplined and uncomplicated life.
Tara Gandhi also spoke about her maternal grandfather, C. Raja Gopalachari and underscored his significant role in the Gandhian movement.
Praising the local handicrafts of Ziro, Tara Gandhi urged to promote them globally through the Gandhi Sangralaya. She also acknowledged the warm hospitality of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and their role as hosts during her stay. She further emphasized the need for sustainable development in Ziro Valley and stressed the importance of nurturing the growth of both mind and thoughts, particularly among the women of the Himalayan region.
Tara Gandhi also highlighted the importance of responsible citizenship and reminded the people of their duty to society while also underscoring the important role of language in connecting people and fostering unity.
On the occasion, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee unveiled the life-sized bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi funded through the philanthropic contributions of Aditya Ghosh, Entrepreneur & Co-founder, Akasa Air and iinaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi Centre housing a Library, Digital Career Guidance Centre, Children’s Activities Centre, Citizen Services Centre, Farmer’s Sales Hub and a Health Clinic initiated by Helping Hands. An exhibition organised by the National Gandhi Museum, Delhi depicting the “life and works” of Mahatma Gandhi was also inaugurated jointly by Tara Gandhi and Dr. Annamalai, Director, National Gandhi Museum, Delhi.
Applauding the Helping Hands for their yeomen humanitarian services which had won the hearts of the people of the country, local MLA and Minister Agriculture and Allied Er. Tage Taki cited the example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had also won the hearts of people world-wide through Ahimsa or Non-violence. Ahimsa had been followed in India right from Gautam Buddha to Mahatma Gandhi and our young generations should also follow and imbibe the principle, he said, while adding there was no place for violence in the modern day world.
Deeply appreciating the proposal of Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee to physically travel to Arunachal Pradesh and inaugurate the Mahatma Gandhi Centre instead of doing it ‘online’, President, Helping Hands Robin Hibu said the centre has been dedicated to the people of Ziro valley for their unflinching faith and belief in Ahimsa since time immemorial.
The world knows Apatani people for their peace loving nature and non-violence or Ahimsa remains as their traditional hallmark, he said. Robin also said the Mahatma Gandhi Centre is sort of a ‘pay back to society’ where facilities are available to both students and farmers. Our young generation students and farmers can both use the centre for their benefits, he explained.
A ‘Pride of Ziro’ gold medal with certificate was also awarded to nine distinguished Apatani individuals who excelled in their chosen fields of expertise and contributed in making Ziro a better to live. The awardees comprised Apatani music lyricist and composer Late Nani Challa, founder of modern Dree festival celebration Lod Kojee, owner of ‘Mother’s Home’, a home to the destitute Tailyang Santi, retired star footballer Lod Tabyo, famed Apatani singer and composer Hage Tade, chairman of Puna Hinda Constructions and renowned highway contractor Puna Hinda, general secretary Tani Supun Dukun Taku Chatung and engineer Tapi Tai. Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime was also awarded with ‘Excellence in Public Administration’ award.
Later, Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime, Aditya Ghosh, Co-founder, Akasa Air, Bhanu Pratap Singh, Founder-Director, NE Farm Sales Promotion Ltd, Prof. Rihan Khan, Director, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Phursat Vajpayee, Initiator Atal Bihari Vajpayee Seva Kendra, Dr.A.Annamalai, Director Gandhi Museum, Delhi, Gaurav Vats, COO Pay2ment Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Armstrong Pame, and chief advisor Helping Hands also spoke on the occasion.
Prizes were also awarded to students for essay writing and painting competitions organized during the Gandhi Jayanti celebration.