Gandhi’s family endorses Victor Ochen, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee, on the International Day of Non-Violence

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed every year on 2 October, a day dedicated to celebrate the life of Mahatma Gandhi who helped led India to independence. Born on 2 October, Gandhi is an inspiration and the global icon of peace who pioneered the philosophy of non-violence.

In a special celebration in Uganda, Victor Ochen, Africa’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee, received an exceptional endorsement from Mahatma Gandhi’s family, for his work for peace and non-violence. As the newly appointed United Nations Global Goals Ambassador for Peace and Justice, Victor commits to carry forward the principles lived by Ghandi himself.

Delivered by the Indian High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr. A.V.S. Ramesh Chandra, Mr. Victor Ochen received a gift from the granddaughter of the Mahatma Gandhi, Tara Gandhi.

“It’s my honor to bring you greeting and blessing from the Ghandi family and the Indian people. This came with a gift in the form of clothes, a Khadi Kurta and Angvastra, of the iconic style that Mahatma Ghandi made and wore himself, made out of hand spun fabric on the spinning mills that Ghandi promoted to combat poverty among the people of India. As you work for the world peace, carry with you the spirit and inspiration from Gandhi and promote non-violence. With great joy, I wish you well. Every Indian would want you to come back to serve your people” emphasized the Indian High Commissioner, Mr. A.V.S. Ramesh Chandra in his address honoring Victor Ochen and AYINET’s work for peace and justice.

Humbled by the powerful endorsement from Gandhi family and Indian people, Mr. Victor Ochen stated that “Wearing this garment was not only something I found unimaginable, but also unachievable. I am honored and I feel the responsibility being handed over from the previous generation of peace makers. The time is now for the young people of today to live what Ghandi stands for. Let’s embrace his legacy as well as those of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King Jr. And may our leaders around the world protect people’s right to peace”.

Mr. Ochen also emphasized the connections between Africa and Asia embedded in Ghandi’s life, as he pointed out that “South Africa gave Ghandi to India and India gave Ghandi to the world”.

The celebration was significant as it took place at the source of River Nile in Jinja, Uganda, where Gandhi’s ashes were immersed, and where a statute of Mahatma Gandhi overlooks the water’s northbound flow.

The peace and justice activist Ms. Renu Varum passionately described that “when I met Victor, besides being the Nobel Peace nominee at the age of 33 years, and his new role as the United Nations Global Goals ambassador for Peace and Justice. I saw a direct connection and relevance between the yesterday of Gandhi, today of Victor and the tomorrow of our future generation”.

At this point, Victor Ochen and the AYINET enters into the last week before the Nobel Peace Prize winners for 2015 are announced. Entering this week with the blessings of the Ghandi family is, in the words of Mr. Ochen, “a great and humbling honor, especially the fact that Gandhi too was once nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friend Service Committee who nominated me and AYINET”.

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