The Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize-2017, given on behalf of World Peace Center (Alandi), MAEER’s MIT World Peace University, Pune, India was conferred upon the HON’BLE ELDER D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON, Member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Mormon Community, Utah, (USA), in appreciation and recognition of his great yeomen service for championing the Noble Cause of Human Welfare, Communal Harmony and Universal Brotherhood through his unique mission to promote the Culture of Peace in the World.
The conferment ceremony took place at the Swami Vivekananda Mandap at Dr. VishwanathKarad MIT World Peace University. The Chief Guest at this program was Dr. Michael Noble, Ex-President, Noble Charitable Trust. The award consisted of a golden replica of Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara, a gold medal, certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5,25,000/- (Five Lakh Twenty Five Thousand Rupees).
Also present at the event were Shri. BabasahebPurandare, Maharashtra Bhushan, Prof. Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad, President, World Peace Centre (Alandi), MAEER’s MIT World Peace University, NanikRupani, Chairman, Neutron Electronic Systems, Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Padma Bhushan& Father of PARAM Supercomputer, Prof. Rahul Karad, Executive President, MIT World Peace University, Hon’ble Father Funk, Elder Robert Williams, Mr. Mathew Holland and Dr. ChandrakantPandav, Trustee, MAEER’s MIT, Pune.
In his acceptance speech, Elder D. TodChristofferson said, “It is my honour to receive this World Peace Prize in the name of Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara. Our church is grateful to be part of India’s rich diversity of faith traditions. Religion defines and sustains us. For billions of believers it is who we are and how we live. But religion also benefits Nations, communities and policy makers who seek to establish peace and lasting prosperity for all people of all faiths. Religion has a significant effect on national prosperity. Study shows that religion fosters trust, a necessary ingredient for social Cohesion and economic growth. Religious people trust others more. They trust the legal system and government more, they are less willing to break the laws. Trust is an essential element of any well-functioning economy. Religious people are far more trusting than those with merely a secular point of view. Religious people and Institutions are powerful source of humanitarian assistance. People of faith are 40% more likely than non-religious people to give money to Charity and twice as likely to volunteer their services to community organisations. Religious freedom facilitates other types of freedom. Studies have shown that societal restrictions on religion increases interstate conflicts. The Christian community in India, although a minority, generally enjoy safety and peace to develop and contribute to Indian society as well as other faiths in India.”
Dr. Michael Nobel said, “The Nobel Prize in peace is generally considered by the world as the ultimate accolade for peace efforts. But there are other prestigious awards and one of them is the World Peace Prize given by MIT World Peace University and is considered as the foremost peace activity award in this country. The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints is unique in several regards. The areas in which the organisation excels are they assure peace and Unity within family structures. They hava a strict imposition of honour codes in which no gambling, smoking or drinking is allowed, it is also a great range of scope of humanitarian efforts on a worldwide scale and their expensive and practical work with refugees to ensure their livelihood and possibilities of survival in a foreign country is commendable.”
BabasahebPurandare said, “Today is an auspicious day as we are felicitating a senior and wiser man like Elder D. Todd Christofferson. His name starts with the world ‘elder’ and ends with the word ‘son’. The power of both the words can be seen within him. If pasaydan is written under the logo of any other religion it will sound the same and will relate itself appropriately to that religion. This is the beauty of pasaydan. We should love the world. The world ‘love’ truly resembles religion.”
VishwanathKarad said, “We are delighted to honour Elder D. TodChristofferson with the World Peace Prize. He has dedicated his life to the service of the society. Today we have come for common cause to promote peace and culture in this world. This is a small beginning. This institution has followed the steps of Swami Vivekananda. I have a hope that in the future the education system will be based on the union of Science and spirituality.”
Prof. Rahul Karad gave the introductory speech and the program was compeered by Prof. GautamBapat.
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