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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the concluding...
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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the concluding ceremony of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi on 02 October, 2020 at the India House Auditorium

 Indeed, we have been privileged to partner with Bhutan to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. Through these past two years and into the Grand Finale of Gandhi@150, Bhutan has joined hands with us to commemorate the spirit and philosophy of the Mahatma.

Who can forget the melodious Yangchen Drukpa, who sang Gandhiji’s favourite bhajan, “Vaishnav Jan To” against the stunning background of the ‘Buddha Dordenma’ and the serene stupas, against the Himalayas at ‘Dochula’!

We were even fortunate to experience the wisdom of Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, former Chief Justice of Bhutan, who delivered a “Satya Vaarta” on his life learnings from Gandhiji.

The annual Mountain Bike Challenge co-hosted by the Bhutan Olympic Committee, the Embassy and DANTAK, as well as the commemorative postage stamps from Bhutan Post, were other notable milestones in this journey of Gandhi@150.

It was an honour for me to join Dasho Paljor Dorji, as we planted a tree at Kuenselphodrang Park on World Environment Day last year. This was a small step towards preservation of the environment - a subject close to the heart of Gandhiji.

Furthermore, we were fortunate to have Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna from India, focusing on the GandhiKatha, as she wove a beautiful tribute to the Father of the Indian nation.

We were also privileged to listen to Birad Yajnik, renowned Speaker, Author and Curator of the Digital Museums of Gandhiji through a recent FaceBook Live chat, I am pleased to share that over 1000 Bhutanese students and teachers across different colleges listened to this inspirational ‘talk’.

And I must mention the beautiful statue of Gandhiji residing within the Embassy since 2nd October last year. We were privileged to have the Hon’ble Speaker Tshogpon Wangchuck Namgyel unveil the statue with the immortal message - Be the Change that you wish to see in the World.

Of course, it is difficult to pick a favourite of the many Gandhi@150 events, however one I cannot help but recall is the ‘Khadi-Thagzo’ Fashion Show at the Royal Textile Academy last year. It was a vibrant celebration organized by The Embassy, in partnership with the Fashion Design Council of India, the Khadi Village Industries Commission and some of the top fashion designers of Bhutan and India.

We were deeply honoured to have her Majesty, The Queen Mother of Bhutan, Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck on this occasion. She will also be the Special Guest of the Government of India for our webinar tomorrow on “Weaving Relations: Textile Traditions” in tribute to Gandhiji. Thank you, Your Majesty, from India!

As we all know, Gandhiji was no ordinary man, but instead, a saint who led a revolution. It has been our honour these past 2 years to commemorate one of the greatest names in history and I hope within all of this, we find a way to integrate his message into our lives.

Thank You!

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