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“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”—Gandhi.
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence to coincide with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and advocate of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. The International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.
In Bangladesh, members of the Community for Human Development marked the occasion in the cities of Dhaka and Cox Bazar. In Dhaka, the celebration took place in Azimpur where old and new friends came together in fellowship, sharing memories and interchanging on activities being done to promote peace and non-violence.
The other celebration took place in the Cox Bazar Humanist School with students and their guardians in attendance. It was a lively and happy affair, with the young students nicely dressed for the occasion. The children danced, played and enjoyed a good meal. They shared their knowledge about Gandhi whom they knew quite well. The teacher also spoke about Silo and his work for humanity which is in line with the methodology of active non-violence espoused by Gandhi as the way to effect real change in the world and to promote lasting peace.
As Gandhi said, “”In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” These humble occasions initiated in small groups and neighborhoods all over the world is indeed a testament that an aspiration for a peaceful and non-violent world is alive in the hearts of many.
The International Day of Non-violence celebrations in Bangladesh were organized by member-volunteers of The Community for Human Development. Its vision is to plant the seeds for a truly human world where the needs of the human being are given the highest value and its members are doing its share to help end all forms of violence and discrimination.
The future belongs to our children- a cliché but it holds a grain of truth. Carrying peace in our hearts and sharing them with the young is surely a step towards building a more humane world for the new generations to come.