Quezon City, October 20, 2019 --Indian President Ram Nath Kovind was at Miriam College today to unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi who is known as the Father of the Indian Nation and considered a symbol of peace around the world.
The occasion marks the 150th death anniversary of Gandhi and coincides with the celebration of the 70th year of Philippine-Indian diplomatic relations.
In his speech delivered before members of the diplomatic corps, local government representatives, school administrators, students, and parents, President Kovind compared Gandhi to Jose Rizal, saying that
“both believed in the power of peace and nonviolence.”
He also thanked Miriam College for giving Mahatma Gandhi a place of respect in its campus, “I deeply appreciate this opportunity to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi at the [Miriam College] Center for Peace Education, a center that promotes a culture of peace through education. The venue could have not been more appropriate. No doubt generations of students who pass through your gates will continue to be inspired by his legacy.”
In closing, he reminded the audience of Gandhi’s universal legacy. “This bust of Mahatma Gandhi is a gift form the people of India but he belongs to all peoples, all cultures, and all societies. May he continue to guide us in our shared journey of peace, harmony, and sustainable development.”
This is the first time that a bust of Gandhi will be installed in the Philippines. It now joins Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, Croatia, and Bulgaria among other countries in hosting a symbolic image of Gandhi to serve as an inspiration for peace and nonviolence. The bronze bust was designed by renowned Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar and was flown from India especially for the occasion.
“ We are deeply honored by your visit and delighted with the gift you have endowed upon us – the bronze bust of the great Mahatma Gandhi – a gift that will serve to inspire, inform, and spur our students our students to act on behalf of Peace,” said Dr. Rosario Lapus, MC Outgoing President.
Witnessing the unveiling were India’s First Lady Savita Kovind with daughter Swati; members of the diplomatic corps led by the Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon S. Bagatsing and Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar, Jr.; Quezon City Mayo r Josefina “Joy” Belmonte; Dr. Lapus and Incoming MC President, Amb. Laura Del Rosario. Also present was the Executive Director for the MC-Center for Peace Education and former MC President Dr. Loreta Castro.
For more than 20 years now Miriam College through its Center for Peace Education has tirelessly laid the groundwork of promoting peace locally and internationally through education and advocacy.