Mumbai chapter in the presence of dignitaries
(L-R) Kartikeya Sharma, founder, Sunday Guardian Foundation; Manoj Gursahani, Advisory Board, Believe Foundation; Tarina Patel, founder of RBP Foundation; actor Kabir Bedi; Marlene Ramokgopa, South African Consul General; actor Poonam Dhillion; Veena Patel, wife of Dr Ramabhai Patel; Tushar Gandhi; Dr Anurag Batra, founder, Believe Foundation; Bhuvan Lall, historian, filmmaker and author; and Iqbal Sharma, husband of Tarina Patel.
Mumbai: The Mumbai edition of the Gandhi Mandela Peace Initiative on 12 July began with the National Anthem, sung by Aishwarya Kapoor. She is an actress, lawyer and opera singer who endeavours to make a positive impact globally through her art and carries out intitiaves for women’s empowerment. This was followed by a welcome address by Dr Anurag Batra, founder, Believe Foundation; Tarina Patel from RBP Foundation; and Kartikeya Sharma, founder, Sunday Guardian Foundation. At the core of the welcome speeches by these eminent speakers was global peace and how we can take inspiration from the lives of the two iconic men—Mandela and Gandhi—in achieving it.
The opening performance by Drum Café, a collective of artistes whose acts focus on connecting people and building teams through “interactive drumming”, was quite a hit. A musical act by artiste Merlin and his team of musicians followed. They sang songs to pay tribute to the contributions made to global history by Gandhi and Mandela.
At the event, Marlene Ramokgopa, South African Consul General, also delivered a powerful keynote. Next was a panel discussion on the impact of Gandhi and Mandela’s lives, teachings and beliefs on cinema. The panellists included Kabir Bedi, actor; Poonam Dhillion, actor; and Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson. The session was moderated by Bhuvan Lall, author, historian, and film producer.
The event was attended by a truly international audience, as well as influential personalities from the film and art world, socialites and business leaders from corporate houses.
The evening in Mumbai also showcased some glimpses of the conference in Delhi that had happened on 11 July. The event concluded with a discussion about the winners of the Gandhi Mandela Peace Award 2019 and the initiative’s political and social relevance in contemporary times.