Embassy of India celebrates Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary

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The Indian Embassy in Bhutan yesterday celebrated the grand finale of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the freedom fighter icon of India, with an art competition that aims to show the correlation between Gandhiji’s thoughts and the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of September 2020.

Rinchen Namgay, a fourth year student of the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, was the winner of a cash prize of Nu 30,000 for his art showing Gandhi sitting under the tree spinning. He said that his art was based on poverty and climate action.

“It took one week to complete the art work,” he said.

First runners up Tandin Tshering’s art is based on the four harmonious friends linking with Gandhi.

He won a cash prize of Nu 25,000 

Second runners up Tshering Nidup’s art is based on the endless knot, located in the center representing Gandhiji’s idea and vision, which are eternal and Indian flags painted on endless knot showing Gandhiji’s ideal. An endless knot is inside a small wheel, showing how his goals will spread like a wheel. His art includes a dharma chakra, a widespread symbol used in Indian religion. It is divided into eight sections, each section explaining Gandhi and the United Nations goals. He won a cash prize of Nu 20,000. All the winners were from the National Institute of Zorig Chusum.

The Indian Embassy launched the art competition along with the National Institute of Zorig Chusum of Bhutan. The winning entries are proposed to be showcased at the UN offices in Bhutan and Embassy of India, Thimphu.

Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs Sherub Gyeltshen graced the event as the chief guest. He paid a tribute to Gandhiji and also gave away prizes to the winners of various online competitions to mark this occasion

In July 2020, the Embassy had hosted ‘Gandhi Katha’ by Dr. Shobana Radhakrishna, a well-known Gandhian scholar. On 30 September, an online audio-visual presentation on Mahatma Gandhi by Mr. Birad Rajaram Yajnik, renowned Gandhian and Curator of the Digital Museums of Gandhiji in Hyderabad, Delhi, Johannesburg and Pietermatizburg was livestreamed on Facebook LIVE, attracting a large audience in Bhutan.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations is hosting a Webinar titled Weaving Relations: Textile Traditions on 3 October 2020 to conclude the Gandhi@150 birth anniversary celebrations. Her Majesty Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the Royal Queen Mother of Bhutan is the Special Guest at the Textiles Webinar. Her Majesty is expected to share little-known facts regarding the tradition of Royal Textiles in Bhutan through a recorded message.  Chandrika Tamang, a sustainable fashion designer from Bhutan, will also participate live in the 3rd session of the Webinar. She is expected to highlight the unique textile traditions and special weaves of Bhutan. The special event hosted by the Embassy of India on October 2, 2020 was another occasion to spotlight and share Gandhiji’s thoughts, philosophy and message in Bhutan, much of which is especially relevant in the present day times.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu

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