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Grand 150th Birthday Celebrations of Gandhi at Gandhi Memorial Plaza Irving, TX

Dallas, TX, October 7, 2019
Dr. Prasad Thotakura, MGMNT Chairman// A.Gary Singh

Several hundreds of jubilant community members joined to celebrate 150th Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Memorial organized by Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas (MGMNT) in Irving (Dallas), TX on October 6th.  Hon. Texas State Governor Greg Abbott graced the occasion as Chief Guest of honor to kickoff Gandhi’s 150th Birthday celebrations. Irving City Mayor Rick Stopfer, TX State Representative Julie Johnson, Deputy Consul General of India Surendra Adhana joined these celebrations as Special Guests. As part of the celebration, Governor Abbott paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, and toured the Gandhi Memorial Plaza, the largest Gandhi memorial in the USA. Governor presented a proclamation on behalf of the State of Texas to MGMNT Chairman Dr. Prasad Thotakura. Karthikeya Chavali and Abhiram Tadepalli recited the favorite bhajan of Gandhi “Vaishnava Janatho”.

Rao Kalvala, MGMNT Secretary welcomed the dignitaries and audience to the event. B.N. Rao, MGMNT Cochair touched upon Gandhi’s legacy and principles.

Dr. Prasad Thotakura, Chairman MGMNT, in his remarks mentioned Gandhi’s philosophy and principles as everlasting all over the world. “He was an inspirational source for civil right movements in 12 countries, world leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and many more followed Gandhi’s path to achieve their goals. Gandhi stood as peace icon in the world that influenced 80 different countries to issue about 250 postal stamps bearing his image” said Dr. Thotakura.

Dr. Thotakura summarized the contributions of Indian Americans towards the economic success of the country particularly to the state of Texas. He lauded Governor Abbott as first ever Texas State Governor visiting India on a successful trade delegation. Dr. Prasad Thotakura stated that about 7 Billion US dollars’ worth of goods and commodities moved between India and Texas in 2017.  Texas state accounts for around 10% of India-US trade.

The Governor discussed the enduring bond between India, Texas, and the Indian-American community, and highlighted the importance of Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of peace in the modern world.
"The bond between India, Texas, and the Indian-American community is deeply rooted in our shared values of family, community, and freedom," said Governor Abbott. "These are the same values that Mahatma Gandhi advocated for, and they are the foundation for greater cultural understanding. As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth, it is my hope that all who visit this memorial today, tomorrow, and all the years to come will be reminded of his teachings of peace, harmony, nonviolence, and unity."
Deputy Consul General of India Surendra Adhana praised the vibrant role of DFW Indian American Community and took part enthusiastically in the Gandhi Peace Walk led by IANT.

Governor Abbott, Special Guests and MGMNT Team released 15 white doves in the air as a symbol of peace and harmony. MGMNT Team distributed white T-shirts & white caps to the community. At the end, breakfast was served to all attendees. MGMNT Board headed by Dr. Prasad Thotakura and Directors Rao Kalvala, John Hammond, B.N. Rao, Abhijit Railkar, Akram Syed, Kamal Kaushal, Piyush Patel and Taiyab Kundawala, Host committee members Anand Dasari, Dr. Sat Gupta, Murali Vennam,  Ranna Jani, Sridhar Tummala, Srikanth Polvarapu, Shabnam Modgil, Venkat Gutta, Sante Chary, Rajendra Vankawala, IANT and IAFC Board of Directors felicitated the Chief Guest and Special Guests.