TORONTO: The Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham (ICCAD) partnered with the Nataraj Youth Cultural Organization (NYCO) to celebrate October 6 as Non-Violence Day at the Ontario Power Generation auditorium in Pickering.
The United Nations declared the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi (October 2) as Non-Violence Day in 2007.
Apart from speeches on the importance of non-violence, a peace walk was also organized to mark
Pickering Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson (seen in the above picture), MPPs Tracy MacCharles and Joe Dickson, Regional Chair Anderson, Councillors Raymond Cho and Peter Rodrigues, Inspector Jamie Grant of the Durham Regional Police Service, community leaders and guests joined the two Indo-Canadian groups in observing the day.
Terry Spratt, a retired teacher of English and world religions with an interest in international relations, and Vaqur Raees, president of the Pakistan Friendship Society of Durham, spoke on the topic of non-violence.
“We have been observing Ahimsa or Non-Violence Day for the past three years, beginning with our first peace march at the Scarborough Civic Centre in 2010. This is our third year of peace walks,’’ said Chintan Bhavsar of the Nataraj Youth Cultural Organization.
“As violence in society is increasing by the day, we thought that the only way to stop this trend is to promote the message of Mahatma Gandhi and educate the youth about the importance of non-violence. Since Gandhi’s birthday of October 2 was declared as International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations in 2007, we try to raise awareness about his message on this day by holding a peace walk,’’ said Bhavsar who founded the Nataraj Youth Cultural Organization in 2010.
Added Shashi Bhatia of the Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham (ICCAD), “We need to instill love, compassion, humility, kindness, patience, calmness and tolerance in our children and teach them to follow eternal laws and principles of life.’’
Bhatia, who is a founding member of the ICCAD, said, “Today more than ever, with the world beset by violence affecting millions of innocent victims both as a result of armed struggles for power and dominance, and widespread prevalence of violence in families in every culture, it is important that we strive for a society that will not tolerate violence.’’