Portugal sets up Gandhi prize

Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on December 19, 2019.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Thursday announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize while attending the second meeting of the National Committee for the Commemoration Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary chaired by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The only foreign Prime Minister to be a part of the committee, Mr. Costa said Portugal would launch the prize in order to promote Gandhi’s ideals, a Union Culture Ministry statement said. Every year, the prize would be inspired by Gandhi’s thoughts and quotes, he said, adding that the first edition of the prize would be dedicated to animal welfare. Gandhi had said “the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

‘Public movement’

The committee, which includes Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Cabinet, Chief Ministers, Gandhians etc., was addressed by Home Minister Amit Shah to start with. He said the commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary had become a public movement, not just a government programme.

The President said Mr. Modi had converted Gandhi’s goal of cleanliness into a people’s movement, the statement said.

Mr. Modi told the gathering that the world was keen to learn about Gandhi and it had become India’s responsibility to remind everyone of his relevance today.

‘Duties to nation’

“The Prime Minister mentioned how Mahatma Gandhi believed that by discharging one’s duties towards the nation and each other faithfully, a human being automatically ensures that the fundamental rights of others are secured. He concluded by stating that if everyone walks on this path and faithfully discharges their duties diligently, India’s dreams will be fulfilled,” the statement said.

Some members of the committee shared suggestions, including promoting Gandhi’s thoughts through school curriculum using technology, introducing courses on sanitation and waste management in higher education, and making literature by and about Gandhi available on digital platforms.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 12:25:37 AM |

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