‘Gandhi Jayanti’ hosted for the first time at the Parliament of NSW

'MAHATMA Peace Symposium' aims to increase public awareness and understanding of Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of sustainability, real-development & Ahimsa (non-violence).

The ‘MAHATMA Peace Symposium 2022’, a tribute to the global peace hero Mahatma Gandhi in commemoration of his 153rd Birth Anniversary or ‘Gandhi Jayanti’, was hosted for the first time, at the Parliament of NSW on the 28th of September 2022.

MAHATMA Peace Symposium is an initiative of the Saroni Roy Foundation (SRf). It aims to increase public awareness and understanding of Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of sustainability, real-development & Ahimsa (non-violence) as a non-violent approach to foster lasting peace within and across diverse & vulnerable communities, thereby accelerating inclusive, networked multilateralism with vision, ambition and impact, integral for a sustainable world.

“In 2022 with the world enduring the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, MPS 2022 focussed on the Gandhian philosophy/concept of Ahimsa (non-violence) addressing ‘multi-dimensional poverty’ as the worst form of violence, and its articulation in the UN-SDGs. We at SRf believe that Inclusive & peaceful societies lead to prosperous economies.” said, Saroni Roy, Founder & Director, Saroni Roy Foundation, and Creator & Producer of MAHATMA Peace Symposium.

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Founder & Director, Saroni Roy Foundation, Creator & Producer, MAHATMA Peace Symposium

The Gandhian values of Ahimsa — social action, justice and peace through non-violence — have universal relevance today, inform this Peace Symposium and perfectly align with Saroni Roy Foundation (SRf) & SRf Creatists’s core principles of ‘Diversity, Sustainability & Social Justice’ to create a more peaceful, more inclusive ‘One World’ to live and love.

The MPS 2022 also highlighted ‘Australia Celebrating India’s 75 Years of Independence’ – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, in backdrop of the AI-ECTA, celebrating and strengthening Australia-India friendship/dosti.

These ethos were also articulated by The Hon. Julian Leeser MP, Federal Member for Berowra, through his video message screened at the event.

Hon Julian Leeser MP’s Video Message for MAHATMA Peace Symposium 2022

MPS 2022 was presented with the support of Hon. Matt Kean MP, Member for Hornsby, NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy. The event was attended by parliamentarians and dignitaries including Hon. Consul General of India, Sydney, Mr. Manish Gupta & Mrs. Nimeesha Gupta, Hon. Mark Coure MP, Member for Oatley, Minister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Seniors, Hon. Jason Yat-sen Li MP, State Member for Strathfield and Hon. Scott Farlow MLC, Government Whip in the Legislative Council who paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and reflected on his values and their relevance today. Fijian-Indian-Australian Deputy Mayor Barbara Ward, councillors and members of the Indian diaspora were also present at the event.

The event included a live concert by actor and artist Saroni Roy, powered by SRf Creatists. A medley by Saroni of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs in three languages, namely, ‘Vaishnav Jan To’, ‘Raghupati Raghav’, ‘Ekla Cholo Re’, showcased CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) artists from India and Australia, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and to all creatives and artists creating a peaceful, inclusive world through art, capturing the essence of SRf Creatists.

Adapting to the pandemic restrictions, Saroni remotely worked with musicians/artists based in India to curate this piece of art, ensconced in the Gandhian values of Ahimsa, courage, determination, solidarity, harmony and peace.

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NSW Multicultural Minister Mark Coure in an exclusive interview with The Australia Today paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and thanked the Indian-Australian community for their contributions to Australia.

The event included a Global Peacebuilders Forum, a call-for-action to peacebuilders, artists, government leaders, advocacy, media and academia worldwide, for a global partnership, to create a shared blueprint to achieve a better, peaceful and more sustainable future for all.

The panel featured Major General Tim Ford, AO (Retired), Vice President (Operations) United Nations Association of Australian (NSW Division) and former UN Peacekeeper, Steve Killelea AM, Founder, Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Nola Turner-Jensen, Director, The 5 Bats Company, Lead – CultuRecode Project and Saroni Roy. The panel was moderated by Kartik Mohandas and focussed on applying the Gandhian principles of sarvodaya, social inclusion, prosperity, solidarity and partnership to address ‘multidimensional poverty’.

Among those present at the event was author and influencer Indranil Halder who was wearing a dhoti at the event. He told The Australia Today that ‘khadi’, which was promoted by Mahatma Gandhi, is about sustainable clothing.