Gandhi Jayanti 2020: Prayer services, cultural events set to mark the Mahatma’s 151st birth anniversary today

Gandhiji's birth anniversary is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare the same on 15 June, 2007

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Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on 2 October every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

The Mahatma as he was known, was born on 2 October, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat.

His birth anniversary is one of the three national holidays in India, and is celebrated by people all around the world. This year will mark his 151st birth anniversary.

Here's how Indians across the country mark his birth anniversary on this special day:

Statues of Gandhiji are garlanded as prayer services, commemorative ceremonies and cultural events are held across the country on 2 October.

His favourite song, Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram is sung at various meetings. Local clubs often organise blood donation camps. Schools, colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions also observe his anniversary by organising quizzes and debates.

Every year, the President of India and the Prime Minister of India pay homage to Gandhiji at New Delhi's Raj Ghat.

The anniversary is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare the same on 15 June, 2007.

On this day, the principles of unity and resistance propagated by Gandhiji, the engineer of several successful nationalist movements that ultimately led to India’s independence, are hailed.

Globally famous for his propagation of ahimsa or non-violence, Gandhiji was the architect behind Dandi March, or the protest organised by Indians against the salt tax imposed by the British in 1930. A lawyer by profession, Gandhiji soon became a man of the masses through his unparalleled ability to deliver soul-stirring speeches and his social work.

He assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921 and urged colonial India to become self-reliant and ditch British products. His image of spinning the charkha became synonymous with the freedom struggle. He also protested during the Quit India movement in 1942 calling for the British to leave India.

The Non-Cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement are some of his popular mass movements. His teaching and methods have stood the test of time and his fight was not only against the British but also several social practises in India. He also fought the caste system in India, untouchability and created awareness about equality and brotherhood.

Many people visit Gandhiji’s ashram in Sabarmati on his birth anniversary. Built in 1917, the Sabarmati Ashram was home to the Mahatma from 1917 to 1930. “Today, the Ashram serves as a source of inspiration and guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhiji’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle,” as per its website.

A number of seminars and webinars are also arranged on this occasion. Maharashtra's Wardha will see webinars and e-inaugurations of development work.

In the Netherlands, a campaign called 'Follow the Mahatma' is being organised to disseminate Gandhiji's message of non-violence to school children.

Closer to home, the Noida Authority has decided to begin ‘Trash to Treasure’ and ‘Bin to Beauty’ initiatives in order to celebrate the Gandhi Jayanti and Rashtriya Swachhta Divas on 2 October.

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