14th Global Youth Peace Festival opens with a clarion call to renew commitment to the Gandhian talisman for achieving sustainable development goals
With “leave no one behind’’ as its theme, the 14th Global Youth Peace Festival got off to a rollicking start here today with a call to renew commitment to the Gandhian talisman in the 150th year of the birth of the Mahatma so as to achieve sustainable development goals and to truly ensure that the benefits of all human activity reach the poorest man on the planet. The inauguration held at Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management (CIHM), Sector 42, Chandigarh here on Monday.
As delegates from different countries reflected upon the meaning of leaving no one behind, interesting interpretations of the same came up during the inaugural session. “For me, leaving no one behind means taking care of every living being on this planet, be it humans or the flora and the fauna,” said one participating delegate. Another one talked about the collective responsibility we all have as humans to be loving and kind to each other.
In his keynote address, the American Gandhi, Bernie Mayor, who has been a guest at the peace festival continuously for the past10 years and who continues to be a star attraction to this day said we must embrace Gandhi’s action framework of Ahimsa, Satyagraha and Tapasya. “The world needs a new way of tackling problems and this can be found in the way Gandhi found solutions to various issues plaguing humankind,” said 82-year old Bernie with a twinkle in his eyes.
Mr S Goshal, General Manager of the Indian Oil Corporation, who is the primary sponsor of the peace festival, said the world needs sustainable development and “rightly so, we are being called upon to reflect on Gandhi’s talisman”. He hoped that the young delegates from different countries would come up with creative solutions to solve the world’s problems.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr, Mahavir Singh, Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, said the various activities and the legal camps the Authority had been conducting over the years had the “poorest of the poor’’ as its focus. He also called upon the youth to imbibe the ideals of the Mahatma and make his talisman the guiding mantra of their lives.
Mr. T K Razdan, Principal of the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, said he was happy to be associated with the 14th Global Youth Peace Festival. He hoped that the young delegates participating in the festival would imbibe the spirit of leaving no one behind through discussions, deliberations and being together for the next three days.
On the occasion, Ms Dessy Aliandrina, Executive Director of Sociopreneur ID from Indonesia; Mr Khiarul Answar Mansoor, President of the Malaysian Humanitarian Movement and Sameer Garg, Managing Director, BillionAbles India were conferred the global youth icon awards. The three of them made presentations on how their work is making a difference to the youth in Indonesia, Malaysia and in India where BillionAbles is working on access for young people with disabilities.
The highlight of the inaugural session was a cultural performance by young people from Gandhi Bali Ashram, Indonesia. Mr. Indra Udyana, the Ashram’s founder spoke about the India-Indonesia sangam and how it was trying to bring youth from the two countries closer.
The inauguration was followed by the Global Youth Earth forum which was moderated by Ashish Shah, environmentalist and direct of Wild Ecologues. The panelists included Ms. Tanya Spisbah, Director of the Australia-India Institute and Mr Anil Arora, Director, Partnerships, Earth Day Network India. One world interfaith harmony meet was also organised in the evening.
Over 200 young people from 20 countries are participating in this year’s global youth peace festival. Tomorrow, the enhancing ideology into action group sessions will be held at the Indian School of Business. The culminating activity will be on October 2 where young people from outside and from the city would be participating in a global peace march.
Some of the participating countries include Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Syria, Sudan, Sri Lanka, USA and Vietnam, Rwanda etc.
14th Global Youth Peace Festival got off to a rollicking start
Late in the evening “One World Interfaith Harmony Meet” observed, where delegates came from different countries encouraged to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill.
The event is being organised Yuvsatta supported by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Chandigarh, Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh, Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management (CIHM), Chitkara University, Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights –CCPCR, CREST, Chandigarh. Department of Environment, Forests & Wildlife, Chandigarh Administration, Earth Day Network, India, Indian School of Business, SAS Nagar, Punjab, Peoples Convention Centre, Chandigarh , State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, Trinity Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Wild Ecologues, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh.