Mahatma Gandhi Library
Mahatma Gandhi, apostle of peace and non-violence, demonstrated to the world the effectiveness of non-violent means for bringing about profound social changes and lasting peace. Mahatma Gandhi Library was founded in 2002 with the mission to increase public awareness, especially to the children, of Gandhian philosophy and teachings, highlighting the universal values of Peace, Truth, Non-violence and Love.
In collaboration with more than 100 organizations, Mahatma Gandhi Week (MG Week) has been celebrated each year since 2004, around Gandhi’s birthday, October 2nd. MG Week is a series of activities including essay, speech, poster, multi-media and debate contests, field trips, storytelling, and other activities with the simple aim of involving youth in understanding the work of Mahatma Gandhi. The contests are divided into two groups, Middle School and High School. In 2004 Mahatma Gandhi Week started with four children participating in a Creative Writing Contest, 25 children in Speech contests and 50 children in Poster contests. In 2017, up to 300 children participated in the various contests. It should be noted there has been no formal marketing program to increase the number of participants.
“1000 Lights for Peace” starts with a 5K Walk for Peace at the Miller Outdoor Theater. The walk includes a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in McGovern Centennial Gardens, giving the walkers an opportunity to pay their respect and continues through beautiful Hermann Park and ending on stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Thereafter, there is an international cultural program with participants representing communities from Asia, Africa, South America, and mainstream America with an attendance that has reached up to 1500 guests. The finale and highlight of the evening is “Candle Lighting Ceremony” where all present can light a candle as their personal pledge to practice peace and nonviolence in their own lives.
The Library has an exhaustive list of books, artifacts and an Exhibition on wheels consisting of authentic pictures depicting the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi.