Gandhian Society hosts ‘Meet and Greet’ for Rajashree Birla 

Rajashree Birla, chairperson of the Aditya Birla Charitable Initiative, left, with her delegation, at the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and Museum in Atlantic City, Sept. 27, 2023. PHOTO: ITV Gold.

The Gandhian Society, a not-for-profit organization based in New Jersey, hosted a meet and greet event with Rajashree Birla, the chairperson of the Aditya Birla Charitable Initiatives, which has been supporting the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and Museum in Atlantic City, inaugurated Oct. 30, 2022. Rajashree Birla is the wife of late Aditya Birla and mother of the current chairman of the group, Kumar Mangalam Birla.

The event began by her visit to the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center which is a collaboration between the Aditya Birla Group and Gandhian Society.

She received a warm welcome from the staff as well as many local community leaders there. She expressed her sincere gratitude to everyone that helped make the museum a reality and was extremely pleased with the operations of the Museum.

The Gandhian Society presented Rajashree Birla with the Circle of Leadership Award for her outstanding humanitarian work and for helping establish the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and Museum. Gandhi Society Founder Bhadra Butala, left. PHOTO: Friday Films

Bhadra Butala, founder of the Gandhian Society, introduced Rajashree Birla to the staff and supporters of the Eternal Gandhi center, who presented bouquets to her.

“We are delighted to visit this Center,” she said, adding that it provided, “Very, very good, in totality- giving all information about Gandhiji, and even the computers are saying the real stories. It looks very real.”

Nitin Mathuria, president of the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and representing the Aditya Birla Group, told ITV Gold, they were delighted to receive Rajashree Birla. “For today’s youth, it is very important to understand the values of Mahatma ji. His journey through life is depicted in the various digital, electronic exhibitions over here.” These were not just pictorial, but rather interactive in a way to interest young children, he said.

Rajashree Birla speaking at the ‘Meet and Greet’ at Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, NJ., Sept. 27, 2023. PHOTO: courtesy Friday Films

At the Royal Albert’s Palace reception, Rajashree Birla was welcomed by more than 150 people, including several dignitaries. Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Padma Shri recipient and chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, as well as Albert Jasani and Shobhana Patel of Royal Albert’s Palace, Bhadra Butala, and many other leaders welcomed her.

She spoke there about the foremost principles of Gandhiji and Dr. Martin Luther King – service beyond self, integrity above expediency, become part of something bigger than one’s self, and inclusivity with dignity.

Gandhian Society honored her with the Circle of Leadership Award for her outstanding humanitarian work and for helping establish the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and Museum.

Dr. Parikh also spoke at the event as did a number of other leaders.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh speaking at the ‘Meet and Greet’ for Rajashree Birla, Sept. 27, 2023. PHOTO: courtesy Friday Films

Saying he was humbled and privileged to be part of the event celebrating Gandhiji. “Personally, I am very involved in implementing the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.” He spoke about the NGO Life Global of which he is the Chairman. Life Global has built 105 schools for underserved children in the last 15 years he noted. And “And in February, as part of the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, we did a Bhoomi Pujan for a 125 year old school started by Gandhiji in Khedbrahma, north Gujarat. We are going to build a boarding school for 200 students to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy,” Dr. Parikh said. He described the Atlantic City Eternal Gandhi center as “a real empowerment of youth,” something he has been committed to all his life, particularly of 2nd generation Indian American youth. “Hearing the voice of Mahatma Gandhi gives so much inspiration to do so many things,” he said, thanking the Birla Group for its “great donation” to the endeavor.

A section of the gathering at the Sept. 27, 2023, Meet and Greet event hosted by Gandhi Society in honor of Rajashree Birla, chairperson of the Aditya Birla Charitable Initiatives. PHOTO: Friday Films

Rajashree Birla was accompanied by her executive management team consisting of Askaran Agarwala (Chairman, Business Review Council, Aditya Birla Group); Rekha Agarwala (wife of Askaran Agarwala); Dr. Pragnya Ram (Group Head CSR, Legacy documents and Archives); Samir Agarwal (VP, Business Review Council, EA to Askaran Agarwala); Tejaswini Karle (EA to Rajashree Birla); Nitin Mathuria (President of the Eternal Gandhi ABG); Piyush Maheshwari (Jt. President, Corp Finance); Vivek Gupta (head operations Eternal Gandhi project)

Shobana Patel, speaking, and Albert Jasani, of the Royal Albert’s Palace, greeting Rajashree Birla, at the Sept. 27, 2023, ‘Meet and Greet’ in New Jersey. PHOTO: courtesy Friday Films

The event concluded with a classical music show performed by eminent musicians from India, Pandit Partho Bose on Sitar and Taalsamrat Aditya Banerjee on Tabla. The audiences appreciated the performance, especially the playing of “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram,” a bhajan close to the heart of Mahatma Gandhi.

Some of the exhibits at the Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and Museum in Atlantic City. PHOTO: videograb ITV Gold.

Rajashree Birla shared her thoughts with those present. The world today needs to follow the path of the Mahatma by serving the communities in distress and adopting simpler lifestyles, she said. Her organization, she emphasized, would continue to carry forward the legacy of her grandfather-in-law Ghanshyam Das Birla, who provided wholehearted support to Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle as well as to propagate his values of nonviolence, social justice, peace and harmony all over the world.

They would also continue to support humanitarian causes by providing education, health, and other necessities to the underprivileged, she said.



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