Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with UN chief Antonio Guterres and other world leaders, inaugurated the Gandhi Solar Park and Gandhi Peace Garden at the headquarters of the global body, underlining that his principles act as a moral compass as the world grapples with challenges of climate change, terrorism and corruption.
Mr. Modi was joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in remotely inaugurating the 50-kW Gandhi Solar Park and the Gandhi Peace Garden at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday.
The special commemorative event “Leadership matters: relevance of Gandhi in the contemporary world” was hosted by Mr. Modi to mark Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary. A special UN Postage stamp on Gandhiji’s 150 birth anniversary was released.
The Gandhi Solar Park is a first of its kind symbolic Indian effort at the U.N. that highlights India’s willingness to go beyond the talk on climate change and climate action.
At a contribution of about $1 million, India has gifted solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the U.N. Headquarters here, one panel each for every 193 U.N. member states.
The ‘Gandhi Peace Garden’ is an innovative initiative under which the Consulate-General of India in New York, Long Island-based NGO Shanti Fund and the State University of New York-Old Westbury have entered into an agreement to plant 150 trees.
It is a crowd-sourced project, with people adopting trees in the memory of their loved ones. The garden is in an open site within the 600-acre campus of the university.
The solar panels are powered up to reach the maximum 50 kW of generation power.
Energy generated in the park is equivalent to energy that would have been created through the use of 30,000 kg of coal. It also has a carbon sequestration of 1,000 seedlings which will grow into trees over 10 years.
Mr. Modi said the values promoted by Gandhiji served as a moral compass for enlightened leadership.
Addressing the event, Mr. Guterres said, “Gandhiji’s vision and philosophy are pillars of the work of the United Nations. Part of his genius lay in his ability to see the inter-connectedness and the unity between all things. His political achievements included leading the movement that ended colonial rule in India.”