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Gandhi's grandson to give two talks at Magness Library
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Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, will give two lectures titled “Lessons Learned from My Grandfather” at Magness Library, 118 West Main Street, this Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Rachel Killebrew, Breakfast Rotary Club member. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to meet Arun Gandhi.”
The event is being sponsored by the McMinnville Rotary clubs. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the children sponsored by the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute. The majority of these children have worked for slave labor and had never been to school before being rescued from child labor by volunteers with Institute.
The elder Gandhi used non-violent civil disobedience to lead his country, India, to independence and inspired a move for non-violence, civil-rights and freedom across the world. He was also named by “Time” magazine as Man of the Year in 1930 and the magazine named him the No. 1 top political icon of all-time in 2011.
Rotary International president Sakuji Tanaka has declared the theme for his year of presidency in 2012-13 to be “Peace Through Service”. According to Killebrew, Tanaka has held peace conferences in Japan at bombing sites, is presently holding a peace forum and includes peace in all projects the clubs do this year. He has encouraged all Rotary members to promote peace in all they do.
Jean Williams, a professor at Motlow, traveled to the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Chicago a few years ago to volunteer her services. During the plane ride to Chicago, Williams struck up a conversation with a man sitting next to her named Scott Kafora. She told him of her desire to volunteer for the Gandhi Institute and he decided to go with her. Williams and Kafora, who is an architect, are helping to start the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute in India. Karfora is collaborating with an Indian architect on the design of the school since the structure must be built according to Indian codes.
Williams said $340 will support a child for an entire year at the school. “That small amount of money to us will provide food, clothing, shelter and medical and dental for one child for a whole year,” she said. Breakfast Rotary and Noon Rotary will each be sponsoring one child at the school.
Williams suggests that everyone watch the movie “Gandhi” before hearing the younger Gandhi speak. She said, “At first, Arun was not in favor of the movie because he said his grandfather did not like attention but then after watching it, he praised it and said it was a good and accurate summary even though his grandfather actually did more with his life.”
Dr. Gandhi will speak during two separate sessions at the library. All are open to the public. Tickets for the 2 p.m. lecture are $15. Light refreshments and punch will be served.
The 7 p.m. lecture is slightly more formal. Tickets for the 7 p.m. lecture are $25. Heavy hors’ douvres will be served following the lecture.
Everyone who attends either lecture will have a chance to purchase Gandhi’s new book titled “Legacy of Love” and/ or his book about his grandmother titled “The Forgotten Woman” for $15 each. All proceeds from the book sales will also benefit the children sponsored by the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute. Attendees can also have a picture taken with Dr. Gandhi if they desire.
Killebrew said Rotary members will be selling the official Rotary International peace pins. “Since 2012-13 has been declared our year of peace, we hope people will wear the pins all year to remind them to live in peace,” Killebrew said.
More information about the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute can be found at
Limited seating for the lectures is available. Williams asks everyone to be at the library early to find seating as the lectures will begin on time. For reservations, call 473-2428.