Friday, October 27, 2006

Brazilian interest in Mahatma Gandhi

The interest is not for fashion nor induced by Munnabhai film
Palas Athena, a NGO from Sao Paulo has been disseminating Gandhiji's ideals in Brazil seriously and sincerely. They have been organising week-long celebrations of Gandhi Jayanthi for the last 25 yrs. Not just by way of garlanding the statue or formal speeches.They go to street children, teachers, schools, NGOs and police besides intellectuals with community activities. They inculcate in young minds the spirit of non-violence and peace.

here is the report I have got from Lia Diskin, the director of Palas Athena about this year's 2 oct activity.

"We are still intoxicated by the 25th Gandhi Week. The name is Week but in truth it takes up the month of October as a whole. This year we managed to include some of the 150 activities in 11 of the FEBEM ( juvenile prisons) units of São Paulo. These are places where young law-breakers are kept until they come of age. Our volunteers show a film on Gandhi and then discuss it with the inmates. These experiences have been very good and light up our hopes".

The force behind these Gandhian interest and activities is Lia Diskin, director of Associação Palas Athena. I have the greatest admiration and respect for her selfless public work. She is a true Gandhian in belief and practice both in private and public life.

Palas Athena had organised a Gandhi project with the 80000 police force of sao paulo state in 1998 to calm down the police mind and instill compassion in them.

The auditorium of Palas Athena is named after Mahatma Gandhi. Palas Athena runs a orphanage called as House of Pandavas. They have translated and published the autobiography of Gandhi in Portuguese.

Information on the Gandhian activities of Palas Athena are in www.palasathena.org

1 comment:

atulg said...

dear sir

Nice to know about the gandhian activities of Palas Athena.

In mexico also Mahatma Gandhi is very popular. when people know that i'm from india they immediately tell aboout mahatma gandhi. here a famous book store chain is by the name gandhi. people like the film gandhi too very much.
regards
atul