Dharamshala: The Central Tibetan Administration today observed the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation and symbol of nonviolent resistance for freedom and peace, with a flag hoisting ceremony at the Kashag.
To mark the occasion, Central Tibetan Administration and its offices across India led by the Department of Health is observing the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Mass movement against single-use plastic.’ This year the CTA’s Health department has announced special efforts towards banning single-use plastic in support of the GOI’s initiative to outlaw single-use plastic.
Speaking to media at the flag hoisting ceremony, the President Dr Lobsang Sangay said the CTA’s initiative towards cleanliness is a sincere token of tribute to the “Incredible India and the Great Mahatma Gandhi”.
“We observe this auspicious day to celebrate his messages of non-violence and peace. Mahatma Gandhi led nonviolently against British India and gained independence for India. This is an example for many conflict areas to seek their cause based on nonviolence. We can estimate around a hundred successful causes for rights, freedom, autonomy and independence based on nonviolence,” the President said.
Quoting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent address at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Sikyong said, “We [India] have exported Budh, not yudh [war].”
Sikyong added, “India’s two greatest exports to the world are Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha, both advocates of non-violence, peace and compassion.”
“Both Gandhi and Buddha are relevant to us and we see their manifestation in His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Hence for us, Gandhi is very special because nonviolence has succeeded in India and many other countries around the world.”
“If non-violence has succeeded for them, it will work for us as well,” said the Sikyong.
CTA’s Swachh Bharat cleanliness drive was flagged off by the Sikyong at a brief public event later at Gangchen Kyishong. Students of Mewon Petoen School presented a skit to drive awareness on environment conservation and anti-littering.
The Sikyong, in his remarks, hailed Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s efforts to highlight climate change and applauded her for starting a global movement for combating climate change.
The staff of the Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan community turned out in large numbers and pledged for a cleaner, plastic-free India.
A daylong door-to-door cleanliness drive starting from Jogiwara-Gangkyi-Gamru-lower Dharamsala is underway to mark the 150th Gandhi Jayanti.
Last year as well, under the initiative of the Department of Health, CTA observed a mass cleanliness drive across India as a tribute to Gandhi and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
This year’s cleanliness drive and other activities on Swachh Bharat was funded by PRM, US.