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Press Release: 2 October 2019
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Embassy of India, Thimphu, Press Release: 2 October 2019

On 2nd October 2019, the Embassy of India in Thimphu celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian nation.  A number of activities were organised by the Embassy to commemorate the memory, life and values of Gandhiji.

The highlight of the celebrations was the installation of a life size statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the India House Estate.  H.E. Wangchuk Namgyel, Hon’ble Speaker of the National Assembly, who was the Chief Guest at the celebrations, jointly unveiled the statue with Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of India to Bhutan.   The bronze statue has been commissioned by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and was designed by the Padma Award winning  Indian sculptor, Mr. Ram Vanji Sutar.

Well-known Bhutanese singer Ms. Kesang P. Dorji, sang Gandhiji’s favourite prayer-song “Vaishnav Jan To”, as the statue was unveiled, lending a solemn and special touch to the ceremony.

Mahatma Gandhi was an ardent votary of environmental sustainability and harmony with nature.  In memory of his teachings, about 200 school children from different schools in Thimphu were taught how to assemble simple solar lamps, the kits for which were designed and gifted by the reputed Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.  In the process, the children learnt about the value of clean energy.

Cleanliness was another value held dear by Gandhiji.  Throughout his life, he exhorted his countrymen to maintain a clean and pollution-free environment.  Government of India is paying homage to his teachings through a Swachhata hi Sewa (Cleanliness is Service) campaign this year, with a special emphasis on reduction and recycling of plastic waste. 

To spread this message among the younger generations, the Indian Embassy organised a drive to collect plastic waste from the Embassy premises as well as from five nearby schools viz. Yangchenphug HSS, Motithang HSS, Luntenzampa MSS, Zilukha MSS and Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School.  The collected plastic waste was donated to the 'Green Road', a company that has developed a technology for recycling plastics and using it in road construction.

The Embassy's cleanliness drive on 2nd October was also a tribute to the 'Zero Waste hour' campaign launched by Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, which is meant to be observed on the second day of every month.

In addition to the above activities, the Embassy also organised a competition among school-children to create paintings/sketches based on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.  The paintings/sketches were judged by experts, and the best three entries received attractive prizes from the Chief Guest, Hon’ble Speaker of the National Assembly.

The celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was a fitting occasion to not only recall the historic contribution of this Great Soul in the birth of the Indian Nation, but also to recommit ourselves to the values espoused by him, which remain just as relevant today.

Thimphu, 02 October 2019

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