By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 03, 2023 DBIS Inter-School Peace Mahotsav In a momentous celebration of its tenth year of existence, Don Bosco International School unveiled a remarkable milestone […]
By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 03, 2023
DBIS Inter-School Peace Mahotsav
In a momentous celebration of its tenth year of existence, Don Bosco International School unveiled a remarkable milestone by organizing its inaugural Inter-School Peace Mahotsav on the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The day-long event on Monday, October 02, 2023, commenced with a thought-provoking Peace Symposium, which brought together eminent personalities from diverse fields to deliberate on the significance of peace in today’s world.
The symposium was graced by esteemed guests, including Fr. Peter Gonsalves (sdb), a distinguished figure in the field of education and author of Gandhi and the Popes (among other books), Lt. Col K. K. Puri, a decorated veteran, Dr. Sudesh Bhagwat, a renowned academician in the field of renewable energy, Adv. Pallavi Gauri Dehari, a prominent legal expert, and Dr Ram Chaddha, a notable advocate for peace and harmony.
Fr. Peter Gonsalves, in his keynote address, emphasized the pivotal role education plays in fostering peace and harmony among nations and communities. He eloquently stressed the Gandhian Philosophy of peace. Fr Gonsalves enlightened the audience, which comprised students, teachers, and distinguished guests, of the many unknown facts of The Mahatma.
International Personalities inspired by Mahatma Gandhi
He highlighted people from different socio-political backgrounds across the world who have been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Lech Walesa, Pope John Paul II, Wangari Maathai, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and Cesar Chavez among others. Fr. Gonsalves also quoted former US President Barack Obama: “Mahatma Gandhi is a ‘hero’ not just to India, but to the whole world.”
Lt. Col K. K. Puri, with his extensive experience in the armed forces, provided a unique perspective on the subject of peace. He reminisced about the time he was invited to speak in Gujarat during a particularly bleak time. He asked the people then: “If you were to need blood for a transfusion, would you take the blood that matches your blood group, or will you ask questions to which community the blood belongs? Then why can’t we live in peace?”
Dr. Sudesh Bhagwat, a luminary in the academic sphere, elucidated the intellectual dimensions of peace, urging students to engage critically with the complex issues facing our world. He emphasized that true peace emerges from a collective effort to address the root causes of conflict and inequality.
Adv. Pallavi Gauri Dehari, with her legal acumen, shed light on the role of justice and the legal system in upholding peace. She highlighted the importance of a fair and just society in maintaining harmonious relations between individuals and communities. “When rights and justice are realized, then we are at peace,” she said.
Dr. Ram Chaddha, a passionate advocate for peace, shared his invaluable insights on the practical steps that individuals and institutions can take to contribute to a more peaceful world. He encouraged the students to actively participate in initiatives that promote dialogue, understanding, and cooperation. “Whatever you have the right to do, may not be right thing to do. You have to exercise constraint. And how does that happen? It only happens when you think of the others before you. The moment you let EGO go, you invite peace,” said Dr Chaddha.
Further stressing the importance of peace and how one can attain it, Dr Chaddha added, “Be dispassionate about your designation; these are only temporary powers. When ‘I’ becomes ‘We’, illness becomes wellness.”
Activities Centered Around the Theme of Peace
Following the symposium, the Inter-School Peace Mahotsav unfolded with diverse activities designed to inspire creativity, collaboration, and introspection. Students from various schools enthusiastically participated in a range of events, including art exhibitions, cultural performances, and panel discussions centered around the theme of peace.
The art exhibition showcased a stunning array of visual representations, each painting or sculpture telling a unique story of peace and unity. The young artists skillfully captured the essence of Gandhi’s philosophy and its relevance in today’s globalized world.
The cultural performances showcased the diverse cultural heritage that exists within our society. Through dance, music, and theatre, students celebrated the richness of different traditions while emphasizing the common threads that bind us all.
Fostering Peace Through Dialogue
The panel discussions provided a platform for students to engage in thoughtful conversations about the challenges and opportunities of building a more peaceful world. The Inter-School Peace Mahotsav culminated in an awards ceremony, where participants were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the event. The sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among the students was palpable, leaving an indelible mark on all in attendance.
The DBIS Inter-School Peace Mahotsav was a testament to the school’s commitment to nurturing compassionate, informed, and engaged citizens. It provided a platform for students to not only celebrate the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi but also to envision and work towards a more peaceful and harmonious future for all.
A few students who I met on the campus, explained their artwork of a brutalized Olive Tree, thus: “Peace is a five-letter word used to describe a vast topic. A topic on which billions of lives depend. Our model aims to represent two themes of peace—Peace towards the environment, and Peace and unity throughout the world.”
The brutalized tree as visualized by the students had barren branches with flags [as leaves] of various countries, swaying in harmony, signaling unity and peace.
Also Read: Just Who in the World Was Gandhi?