Peace and Disarmament
"Building a Culture of Peace" Exhibition Shown in Nashik, India
Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai (BSG) has held two showings of the exhibition "Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World" in Nashik, Maharashtra, at the BYK College of Commerce from February 18-20 and at St. Lawrence High School from February 21-22. Over 2,700 viewed the exhibition in total.
On February 17, the BYK College showing was inaugurated by the vice chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Science, Dr. Arun Jamkar, and Dr. K. R. Shimpi, principal of Gokhale Education Society. Dignitaries from government institutions and industry and heads of educational institutions attended, including Dr. Kailas Kamod, chairman of Maharashtra State OBC Development Corporation, Dr. Dhanesh Kalal, principal of BYK College, and Dr. Deepti Deshpande, principal of SMRK College. BSG leaders Vinay Jain and Vandana Sonwaney also attended.
Mr. Jain gave the welcome address and introduced BSG and its contributions toward promoting humanism and developing a culture of peace. This was followed by a screening of the film Another Way of Seeing Things, based on an essay by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, which challenges media stereotyping and how this can give rise to prejudice and barriers between people of different nationalities and religions.
Dr. Jamkar from Maharashtra University praised BSG's efforts to spread the message of peace, especially among children. He also urged for further collaboration between the university and BSG on issues pertaining to ethics and morality and for a peace-based orientation in the medical science curriculum. Dr. Shimpi stressed the need for peace and "doing away with weapons of mass destruction," and stressed that a culture of peace begins at home.
On February 21, the exhibition opened at St. Lawrence High School. The guests of honor, cardiologist Dr. Kunal Gupte and his wife, released pigeons and white and blue balloons as symbols of peace.
During the weeks prior to the exhibition opening, students from St. Lawrence had been given an opportunity, as part of their studies, to view the exhibition panels in order to put together special exhibits demonstrating how they would apply the message of peace in society, their community and within their personal lives.
Over the two-day period that the exhibition was on display at the school, over 1,500 students viewed it, including visitors from 10 schools and three colleges. Some 80 teachers and over 100 students from St. Lawrence High School acted as volunteers at the exhibition.
Referring to the exhibition, a teacher from Boys Town Public School in Nashik shared her determination, saying, "We as teachers will try to bring this culture [of peace] amidst our students."
[Adapted from a report from Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG); photos courtesy of BSG]