Chicago, IL: Today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a Proclamation declaring October 2, 2019 Mahatma Gandhi Day in the City of Chicago, at an event hosted by the Delhi Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities in partnership with World Business Chicago. The luncheon was held in honor of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary. Smita N. Shah, Chairman of the Delhi Committee, introduced honored guests, United States Senator Richard J. Durbin and Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. Also present were four Consul Generals from India, Sudhakar Dalela, Consul General of South Africa Phumzile Mazibuko, Consul General of the United Kingdom John Saville, and Honorary Consul General of Nepal, Marvin Brustin. Other notable guests were Niranjan S. Shah, Vijay Dave, Maarten de Jeu, Babu Patel, Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, and Nick Patel.
“Chicago has a unique history with India, from the Parliament of World Religions in 1893, when Swami Vivekananda came and spoke of the universal unity of religion,” said Smita Shah, chairman of the Delhi Committee. “It is fitting that Chicago is among the first to recognize Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth Anniversary.”
“Chicago and the Delhi Committee is one of the first to have an annual Mahatma Gandhi celebration,” commented Andrea Zopp, former Deputy Mayor and CEO of World Business Chicago. “This is unique, and we are honored to do it.”
“The Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities promotes cultural, social and economic exchange between the citizens of Chicago and the citizens of India,” said Smita N. Shah. “We honor Gandhi today, because it is such a significant example of the value of global exchanges.”
Senator Durbin explained how Mahatma Gandhi “was inspired by American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, in the concept of civil disobedience. In return, he inspired many world leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King,” said Senator Durbin. “We can all have an impact on improving lives by working together.”
Senator Durbin also spoke of the importance of immigrants in this country. “Immigrants in this country have made a tremendous contribution,” Senator Durbin noted. “This Senator believes in immigration. This Senator stands by the communities of the City of Chicago.”
Delhi Chairman Smita Shah, in introducing Mayor Lightfoot, noted that “Gandhi’s fight for independence included a desire to fight poverty, create social economic opportunity for citizens and to ensure the preservation of human dignity,”
Mayor Lightfoot gave a moving and impassioned speech about Mahatma Gandhi and his contributions, and how we all can learn from him. “Poverty is the worst form of violence,” she quoted Gandhiji. “We must do better for all of our communities. We must do better for our immigrant communities.”
Smita N. Shah noted, “I see Mayor Lightfoot in that same fight for human dignity for all. Mayor Lightfoot reminds our community and the citizens of this City that strength and conviction belongs to everyone, and that we need to do well for each member of our city. That we cannot be successful unless each neighborhood and community has an opportunity for education and economic opportunity.”
“This is about human dignity,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We are going to give all people, in every community, especially the neediest and including the immigrant community, their dignity.”
Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA
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