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Reports 2019

31 years of Peace and Harmony Leonie Kuehl

31 years of Peace and Harmony

Everyone who visited Civil Lines last Saturday, might have seen colorful balloons emblazing the sky. And they may have wondered for what occasion- it was India Peace Centre’s 31 anniversary celebrated with a lot of zeal and effort. 

India Peace Centre- a place that always showed how to live peace in diversity celebrated 31 years of programs starting from peace education trainings over human rights  issues to environmental concerns. These achievements towards a peaceful society, were jointly celebrated with more than 160 people on 7th of December. 

The program was accompanied by a various entertainment program that included poems, gazal  singing and interesting stories and experiences connected to India Peace Centre, shared by the core group members.  The audience participated lively by clapping, laughing and enjoying a peaceful get together. 

The beauty of the evening was underlined by everyone sharing their ideas of peace with each other. No matter of their personal background, every person could experience a peaceful and safe environment regarding their personal religion, beliefs and values. 

Seperate from the celebrations, it was also important to address current political issues and to remind of events that are disturbing the idea of peace. Such as the cruel crimes that women are facing all over the country. India Peace Centre and the whole present community lit candles together and stood in a minute of silence, apologizing for men’s behaviour and praying for justice with a simple “Amen” that could be shared by every religion. 

The evening was rounded down by a delicious meal, that gave room for discussions, laughter and also laid back conversations. All in all it was a great party, that really embraced the idea of living a culture of peace in diversity. 

India Peace Centre celebrates 70 years of Indian Constitution Leonie Kuehl

India Peace Centre celebrates 70 years of Indian Constitution

Constitution Day was celebrated with immense fervor and zeal at India Peace Centre, Nagpur. Renowned orators from central India enlightened the audience with their insights.

On the 26th of November, Constitution Day has been celebrated at India Peace Centre. Four horators enlightened the audience observing our constitution from different perspectives, regarding the current political situation and the importance of  Dr. Ambedkar. The program was moderated by Leona Moldenhauer and Leonie Kuehl.

At first, Yeshwant Telang, who is a social worker and the national president of Sugat Jaycees,  elaborated on the pivotal role of Babasaheb Ambedkar as the chairmen of the drafting committee. Telang underlined that every citizen should continue his legacy by working for social causes.

As a renowned lawyer, Prakash Meghe spoke at length about the timeline of the constitution and the amendments it went through. He underlined that the amendments ought to be for the public and not for ruling class alone. The lawyer brought to notice the recent abrogation of article 370 and spoke about the importance of fundamental rights. He very elaborately spoke about the challenges the constitution faces from the Executive.

Meghes speech has been followed by the horator Vira Sathidar who is editor of the Maharathi Magazine “Vidrohi”. He brought to  notice that the nation is still in the making and B.R. Ambedkar’s dream has not been realized yet. He explained the Preamble of the constitution in brief which is said to be the essence of the Constitution. Babasaheb dreamt of Justice- social, economic,  and political and this, according to the speaker, could only be realized by a socialist economy. Sathidar took the audience to time travel at the debated and deliberations of the constituent assembly. His vision and efforts to emancipate the downtrodden were an inspiration for everyone. 

“However good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot.” Dr B R Ambedkar

Finally, Dr, Teijinder Singh Rawal, known C.A. and close associate to India Peace centre drew a parallel between the contemporary political political happenings in Maharashtra State and Mr. Ambedkars speech at the constituent assembly in 1950. The speaker emphasized that the constitution needs to be adhered, not only in words but by the spirit which will result in a welfare state.

“You gave us a lot of hope Today” Leonie Kuehl

“You gave us a lot of hope Today”

“After the presentation and the panel discussion, I am glad that we named today’s program climate crisis, because there would not be any name more suitable to describe the current situation Nagpur is facing”.

That is how the “Global Shapers” closed the program “Climate Crisis in Nagpur and India”, which was jointly organised by India Peace Centre and the Global Shapers, Nagpur hub.

In the first part, Varun Agrawal, gave insight on the scientific factors promoting climate change, such as Co2, which is trapped in the stratosphere, causing the earth to heat up. Sadly, India is on the Top 3 countries ejecting most Co2, therefore takes a huge part in promoting climate change. It could also be proven, that human made climate change is real and can not be ignored anymore:

COPD cases are on the rise in Nagpur, natural catastrophes have been recognised all over India and the temperatures are rising all over the world in a speed that has never been seen before.

In the following part, experts and people who have been trying to fight climate change for a long time, shared their opinions and experiences on the topics: Jayshree Bahre Madame, director of Raisoni School stated, that children should already be trained on how to protect the environment and what effects their personal behaviour has on the planet, in a young age. She is trying to make school education more eco- friendly and is addressing climate change in her school.

Sharhad Paliwal Sir, founder of Vidarbha chapter of Paryavaran Prena, explained organic farming and the importance of learning how to grow your own food, as it contains no poisonous fertiliser, which is responsible for major heath issues, Indian society is facing. He shared his experience in agriculture.

Kasta Dip Sir, director of India Peace Centre, put the topic in another context: He shared how the environment changed, since he was a child and explained that ” climate change will mostly be affecting the poor”. Climate change can be beared much more effortlessly by the rich, because they are able to afford AC’s etc. But climate change will be carried by the poor people. Therefore, climate change is also a major issue in the challenge to live peacefully.

All in all the program was a great success, as the audience and the panellists both agreed, that the evening gave everyone a lot of hope in order to save the planet.

“Interfaith School of Peace” Leona Moldenhauer Leona

“Interfaith School of Peace”

When one turns on the TV, opens the newspaper or listens to the radio one of the first things you will probably recognize is headings about war, terrorist attacks or hate speech against minorities. India Peace Centre is concerned about keeping the global peace, which is why the IPC organized a Program called “Interfaith School of Peace”. Around 50 students from Orissa were invited to participate in the program, which took place at CYSD in Bhubaneswar, Odisha between the 10th and 14th of October 2019. The program was all about peace, it’s importance in today’s contexts and how to keep it.  In a total of three full days of deliberation the participants as well as speakers held discussions on different topics, shared their own experiences and figured out new ways of handling issues, seeming to threaten peace.

The topic peace is so complex, multiple speakers emblazed it from different perspectives. Sudhansu Naik, General Secretary, Bhubaneswar YMCA, talked about the general understanding and context of peace and reiterated that the “Absence of war is not peace”. Furthermore many other speakers shared their inputs.  They include  Jyotsna Rani Patro, Secretary of Utkal Christian Council, expressed her opinion on the role of gender in context of peace, Angelious Micheal, Coordinator for Partnership Desk at Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, informed about how the youth is dealing with issues these days and Ajaya Singh, Director of Excellence Academy, talked about different perspectives of peace. In relation to the title “Interfaith” Dhirendra Panda, convener for Civil Society on Human Rights, shared his concerns on dealing with peace between different religions. In between the speeches the participants discussed questions such as: “Is peace present today? “, “What are the factors of peace building? “, “What are the factors of conflicts?”. Kasta Dip, the Director of India Peace Centre, led the program and gave some input himself on the caste system and what we talk about, when we talk about neighbourhood. To give some examples on the power of peace, Leonie Kühl and Leona Moldenhauer, two German volunteers, presented examples on global peace movements.

On the last day the participants got the opportunity to experience their gained knowledge on respecting each other and different religions practically. Exposure Visits made it possible to visit places of historical and religious importance: Dhauli Shanti Stupa, a Buddhist temple followed by a Christian Church and the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves.

Meanwhile these three days friendships were built, knowledge was gained and mindsets were changed. All the participants got new impressions on peace and took one step further to being a peace maker themselves in their local contexts and situations.

Celebration of Gandhi Jayanti Leonie Kuehl

Celebration of Gandhi Jayanti

In observance of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on 2nd. of October, India Peace Centre organised a panel discussion on “Gandhi and India Today”.

Ms Pratishruti Singh Agrawal, who did her masters in “Gandhian Thoughts” shared her views on Gandhi: Gandhi is a mentality and his values and beliefs are still living on today. Especially his Eco- Criticism and his regards on peace and non- violent protest are still important and current.

Having read all holy books of not only Hindu religion, but also muslim and christian community etc. it was one of Gandhis passions to unite Hinduism and Islam, according to Mrs. Pratishruti.

Modern India is still influenced by Bapu’s works and will always be, because even though, Gandhi has passed away, his works are living on.

After Mrs. Pratishruti, Dr. Suresh Khainar shared his thoughts on the topic.

Dr. Yugal flagged, that society can, most importantly, learn from Gandhi that everybody’s life is a meaning. We should try to give it a good meaning by believing in secularism, trying to understand each others pain and connecting to each other.

“Gandhi started with 27 people, and in the end he was followed by thousands”, Dr. Yugal stated.

In the end, the discussion was opened for the audience as well.

All in all, the programme ended successfully and India Peace Centre could give tribute to Gandhi by actualising Gandhiji’s thoughts.

Building Life-affirming Communities Leonie Kuehl

Building Life-affirming Communities

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Nature and Women’s Health, India Peace Centre celebrates Earth Day Leonie Kuehl

Nature and Women’s Health, India Peace Centre celebrates Earth Day

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