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Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrated in Netherlands with march for non-violence

Preeti Athwal
Gandhi Jayanti 2019, Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti 2019

The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was marked in the Netherlands with grand celebrations including a march for non-violence and an exhibition on the life of the father of the nation.

The Indian Embassy here also organised a cycling rally, a commemoration meeting, events surrounding the four Gandhi statues in the country and a School Outreach Programme in cooperation with the Gandhi Non-Violence Foundation and other groups.

The celebrations began with a cycling rally on September 29.

Despite the inclement weather, a large number of cycling enthusiasts including children joined India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Venu Rajamony and leaders of the Gandhi Non-Violence Foundation in a Bicycle Rally through the streets of The Hague to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to spread awareness regarding the Gandhian philosophy of simplicity and sustainability, the Indian embassy said in a statement.

The rally, which began at the Indian embassy, passed through the iconic Peace Palace – home to International Court of Justice, the Parliament (Binnenhof), and the most popular seaside resort Scheveningen and returned to the Indian mission.

A four-day exhibition on the "Life and Message of Gandhi" was inaugurated by Ambassador Rajamony at the Atrium of the City Hall of The Hague on October 1.

From September 24 to October 3, volunteers reached out to 28 schools and over 2400 students in the Netherlands in a "Follow the Mahatma" campaign and talked about Gandhi’s message of non-violence and its relevance in today’s world.

Gandhi Jayanti was marked by a "Gandhi March for Non-Violence" through the city of The Hague to highlight the importance of the message of non-violence.

This is the third successive year that the Gandhi March has been held in the City of The Hague.

Around 300 school children and 150 adults took part in the march which began from the Gandhi statue at Hobbemaplein and concluded at the iconic Peace Palace.

Ambassador Rajamony planted a symbolic red beech tree on October 2 in the Haagse Bos, which is the green gateway to The Hague and is the oldest remaining forest of the Netherlands.

This is the first of 150 trees which will form a Gandhi Peace Forest and a joint initiative of the Embassy of India and the National Forest Administration of the Netherlands.