ARTHUR J PAIS
Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary was marked by dozens of activities across the United States, including
some 2,000 people offering voluntary service in many cities under the South Asian
American Leading Together’s Be the Change
program October 4.
SAALT, along with local organizations, has
been organizing Be the Change Day for 14
Volunteers offer a few hours of service on
this day. Some help senior citizens, some
make thematic dolls for sick children, and
some chip in restoring parts of community
centers or senior citizens’ homes.
“The day also helps volunteers and community leaders to come together and discuss
their voluntary work,” said Victoria Meaney,
program associate, SAALT. “To some this
was the first day of volunteerism, but there
are also people who do voluntary work
throughout the year.”
Sewa International USA celebrated Sewa Day 2014 at over 20 locations in the US
with over 500 volunteers joining its call, the
organization said in a statement.
In San Diego, California, about 80
On the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Irving city in Texas became the sixth town in the
United States to install a Gandhi statue.
Satish Dhupelia, a great grandson of
Mahatma Gandhi, unveiled the Mahatma
Gandhi Memorial Plaza at the Jefferson
Park, October 2.
‘This memorial will be a prominent landmark, great pride and honor for the Dallas
Fort Worth community and will be an
inspiration for our coming generations,’
said Dr Prasad Thotakura, chair, Mahatma
Gandhi Memorial of North Texas, which
installed the statue.
The project was conceived by leaders of the
Indian American Friendship Council and
the India Association of North Texas in
‘Getting the approval of the city was
a laborious process as we had to convince
them of the relevance of it,’ Dr Thotakura
The statue was sculpted by Burra
Varaprasad and K Prasada Rao, who traveled from Andhra Pradesh for the project,
which cost about $700,000.
‘MGMNT’s vision of this memorial will be
an inspiration to all generations,’ Dhupelia
Reverend Jerome LeDoux, representing
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s family; Irving
Mayor Beth Van Duyne; Consul General of
India in Houston P Harish; D Prasad
Gollanapalli from the Sabarmati Ashram in
Gujarat; and Mandali Buddha Prasad,
deputy speaker of the Andhra Pradesh
Legislative Assembly were among those who
attended the event.
The MGMNT team presented the Jewel of
India award to Dr Thotakura for his vision
and commitment for the project.
A Gandhi Peace Walk was organized
Irving gets Gandhi statue
2,000 people offer voluntary services on Sewa Day
Volunteers package medical kits at a health care camp.
Organizers and guests at the installation.
October 17, 2014