A kick off meeting for the Indian-American community and media was held April 16, at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, N.J., for the final Gandhi Going Global exhibition scheduled for the month of May.
The kickoff was organized by Indo-American Community of North America. More than 600 people attended from all over new jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and other places, despite it being a week-day, organizers said in a press release.
Starting with the national anthems of the United States and India, the ballroom reverberated with Gandhi’s favorite song “Vaishanava jana to” sung by Umesh Patel with AAlap Parikh followed by “Vande Mataram” sung by 12-year old Riya Pawar loved by many in the Indian community in the U.S.
The greatness of the Indian leader of the non-violent national movement against the British rule, was celebrated at the April 16 meeting and many in the audience were emotional during the program. Rare photos of Gandhiji were displayed for review. A few community leaders gave short speeches during this event and remembered Gandhiji.
The event was organized as a preamble to the main event which is scheduled to be held on May 24, 25 and 26 at Expo Hall Raritan Center in New Jersey. Co-chairs of the event, Dr Navin Mehta and Kenny Desai presided over the meeting; The keynote speaker and primary event coordinator was Mukesh Kashiwala. A team of volunteers helped make the event successful.
The highlights of the planned event were presented to attendees so that they know in advance what to expect, the press release said. The May event is free and open to the general public.
More than 70 volunteers are working everyday to make the May event successful, organizers said. Over 24,000 thousand sq. ft is assigned to exhibits sent from India by Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, and another 2,000 sq. ft. are assigned for exhibits sent by Aditya Birla.