Indian President Ram Nath Kovind led the unveiling of the bust of Mahatma Gandhi, known as the “Father of the Indian Nation,” at Miriam College Sunday.
The unveiling of the bronze bust designed by renowned Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar marked the 150th birth anniversary of the Indian peace icon and the 70th year of Philippine-Indian diplomatic relations.
“Today I feel honored to unveil his bust in the Philippines, the land of the brave Jose Rizal,” Kovind said in his speech. “Both Mahatma Gandhi and Jose Rizal believed in the power of peace and non-violence.”
Kovind said the avenue in New Delhi named after Rizal continues to inspire and motivate the Indian people.
This is the first time that a bust of Gandhi was unveiled in the country. The Philippines now joins Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, Croatia, and Bulgaria among other countries in hosting a symbolic image of Gandhi.
“I deeply appreciate this opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi at the Center for Peace Education. The venue could not have been more appropriate,” the 74-year-old Indian leader said.
Established in 1997, the Miriam College Center for Peace Education promotes a culture of peace through education and advocacy.
The Center has been promoting the culture of peace through its capacity building projects and partnerships with various academic institutions, civil society organizations, government agencies, and local government units.
“No doubt generations of students who pass through your gates will continue to be inspired by his legacy,” Kovind said.
The unveiling was witnessed by India’s First Lady Savita Kovind, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, and Miriam College incoming President Ambassador Laura Del Rosario, among others.
Dr. Rosario Lapus, Miriam College outgoing president, said in her speech the bust is “a gift that will inspire, inform, and spur their students to act on behalf of peace.”
“Peace is a core value clearly articulated in our school motto: Miriam College for truth, justice, peace, and integrity of creation,” Lapus said.
“Gandhi’s example of perseverance teaches us that patience, renewed commitment and the true belief in peace are important for success and continuity,” she said.