The first Gandhi Peace Centre outside India opened last week at Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple in Tividale, near Oldbury of UK.
Over 300 people gathered on the occasion to witness the opening of the centre.
The newly launched centre has a permanent exhibition of Gandhi’s life and message which is being exhibited through interactive tools and video clips. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are also yoga and teaching resources, a library and a bunch of rare photographs are awaiting the visitors.
The centre has also facilities to accommodate meetings, seminars and practical sessions to discuss and spread Gandhian ideology which aims to spread peace and non-violence. The new centre is one of only two centres officially recognised by the Indian government to promote the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.
The dignitaries including, Sandwell Mayor Cllr Joy Edis, Rajashree Birla, chair of the Aditya Birla Group, Indian Consul General Dr Aman Puri, Lord Bikhu Parekh, Lord Popat along with Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street have participated in the event. Representatives from the Gandhi Foundation and people across the community witnessed the inaugural event.
Rajashree Birla, cut the ribbon along guests Dr Aman Puri, Lord Bikhu Parekh, Lord Popat, and representatives from the Gandhi Foundation to inaugurate the prestigious centre.
UK’s prime minister herself had a message for the new Gandhi peace centre that was read out by Andy Street who said, “his values continue to resonate and we are very fortunate to now have an exhibition of his life and lessons at the Gandhi Peace Centre.”
The programme was hosted by temple trustees chair Dr S Kanagaratnam and founding chair Dr VP Narayan Rao witnessed an interactive exhibition of Gandhi’s life and a series of talks, discussion about Mahatma Gandhi.
Award-winning writer and Gandhi scholar Lord Parekh and Dr Puri spoke in the event organised.
The centre is the latest addition to the temple complex, which started its operations in 1999, developed by the members of the Hindu community. The temple site is spread on an area of 27-acre land and has already attracted over 500000 visitors a year, including devotees, students and schoolchildren.