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UNSW Sydney set to mark Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary


Sydney: As Australia gets ready to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary with week-long exhibitions and interactive discussions at various universities, Mahatma Gandhi's bronze bust at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) here keeps reminding students of his commitment to humanity and importance of education in shaping a better world.

Created by Ram Sutar -- the famed sculptor of Sardar Patel's historic "Statue of Unity" at the Sadhu Bet island on the Narmada river -- Gandhi's Bronze sculpture was installed at the Library Lawn of the UNSW in 2010.

It was conferred to commend the university's efforts in maintaining close relations with the Indian community and providing a safe environment for the students.

According to Madhavi Mehndiratta, who is pursuing Master's at UNSW Sydney, the place prides itself as the only university in New South Wales to display a bust of Gandhi on campus, and the only university in the world to hold a Gandhi Oration in January every year.

"The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will be celebrated at the UNSW to commemorate his ideals of peace and non-violence, and his transformational contribution to India's freedom struggle," said Mehndiratta.

Earlier this year, the University hosted annual "Gandhi Remembrance Ceremony" and "Gandhi Oration". The speech was delivered by Tim Costello AO, Chief Advocate for World Vision Australia, and one of the country's leading voices on social justice and humanitarian issues.

"Many decades ago, before the technological revolution with iPads, search engines, Facebook, Twitter and social media, Gandhi warned that people might learn to fly like birds and swim like fish but it would be of little use and even a disaster if they forgot how to walk like human beings," Tim had said in his speech.

According to James Wiggins, Sessional Tutor, Arts and Social Sciences at the UNSW, with knowledge comes opportunity and power.

"Gandhi was a great example of how to use all of that with responsibility and humility to achieve a greater good. For university students and teachers, it's a great example of what their pursuit of knowledge can be for," Wiggins said as the UNSW prepared for Mahatma Gandhis sesquicentennary celebrations.



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