Marking the International Day of Non-Violence, the United Nations released a Mahatma Gandhi stamp on the occasion of his 140th birth anniversary.

The United Nations Postal Administration released the $1 stamp designed by Miami-based artist Ferdie Pacheco. The stamp shows the Father of the Nation in red, blue and gold. Envelopes marked with the stamp and the U.N. seal are on sale.

Several U.N. envoys present at a function, organised by the Indian Mission, reiterated the impact of the Mahatma’s life.

“In many ways, Mahatma Gandhi pre-visioned the United Nations. Much of the work we do in the area of human rights owes its genesis in the struggle against racial discrimination, which he focused on,” said Ambassador to the U.N. Hardeep Singh Puri.

President of the General Assembly Ali Abdussalam Treki stressed upon Gandhiji’s commitment to communal harmony between the Muslims and the non-Muslims.

Paying tributes to Gandhiji, United States Permanent Representative to the U.N., Susan Rice, said, “Gandhi had influenced millions of Americans. Gandhi believed that physical force could be turned aside by moral forces.”

Mr. Puri and Ms. Rice spoke of the historic trip that civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., made to India in 1959 to see the country of the Mahatma. On his return, Dr. King wrote, “It was wonderful to be in Gandhi’s land.”

This year, on the 50th anniversary of the journey, the U.S. sponsored Martin Luther King III’s visit to retrace the steps of his father and mother.

Quoting King that “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy,” Ms. Rice spoke about Gandhiji’s influence on the U.S. history. “That is true of people, but it is also true of nations.”

All over New York City, small and big events were organised to mark the birthday of the Father of the Nation.

New Yorkers gathered to sing the Mahatma’s favourite songs and paid floral tributes at his statue in Manhattan. “Gandhi has to be celebrated all over the world because his message echoes around the globe,” said Consul General of India in New York Prabhu Dayal.

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