2022 Mahatma Gandhi Week Speech Contest Participants Share Values

HOUSTON: 2022 Mahatma Gandhi Week Speech Contest was held at Arya Samaj Greater Houston on Saturday, September 24, 2022. In the picture you see participants, judges, and organizers.

Many know him as Mahatma and many more know him as Father of India. But the world knows him as an apostle of peace and non-violence. Anyone who ever wanted to know more about Gandhi ji and his values should have listened to the mesmerizing speeches delivered by children. The event was held at Arya Samaj Greater Houston on Saturday September 24th during 17th annual Mahatma Gandhi Week Speech Contest 2022 as part of celebration of 153rd Gandhi Jayanti, birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, as ‘1000 Lights for Peace’.

On this special occasion the topic for the Elementary school children was “How do I practice peace?” and for Middle School/High School children was “How can I make the world a better place?”

Please do mark your calendar to come to Arya Samaj Greater Houston on Sunday, October 2, 2022, from 5 PM to 6.30 PM to listen to the inspiring winning speeches. 1000 Lights for Peace program consists of International Multicultural dance and music show dedicated to peace, and an award ceremony for the winners of Mahatma Gandhi Week – 2022 Poster, iTribute, Essay and Speech Contests. For more information, please visit www.egmh.org

On September 24th, children came in early much before the 8:30 am time to register, for the Speech Contest held at Arya Samaj Greater Houston. They came brimming with confidence, ready and eager to share their thoughts on the above topics.

The Elementary school children shared their thoughts from events such as ‘Russia / Ukraine war’ to ‘experiments and differences on lying vs not lying.’ A young kid talked about getting her feet stomped but keeping calm and training her mind not to be violent, in retaliation. They talked about learning the techniques of meditation and chanting Aum. The common theme was ‘Peace comes from within.’ Ishana Gautam was the winner in this category.

The Middle/High School children not only shared their thoughts on the topic but came with solutions. They articulated their solutions for issues causing lack of peace such as pollution and bullying. How their efforts and small acts such as giving compliments to others and collecting trash and recycled items from the neighborhood would be their contribution to making the world a better place. Khushi Kawedia was the winner in this category.

Some of the notable comments were: ‘Don’t need money or influence to make world better,’ and ‘We don’t know our own planet entirely so money being spent to explore other planets should be utilized in first exploring our beautiful earth.’ Others talked about trees being cut and preventing forests being destroyed. Educating children, giving more time towards charity, putting smiles on their faces. They shared their realization of not being able to change the world alone, however, they all can play a small role in making a substantial change.

The esteemed judges Robin Bulkley, Geeta Kadakia, Nitin Gulati, and Anuradha Nigam were amazed by the speakers, their content, delivery and not to mention their confidence. Our gratitude to the following volunteers, Karam Gupta, MC and coordinator of the contest, Jasmine Pirani, Timekeeper, G.V. Krishnan, Video and photography, Rita Kothari, snacks, Rajan Chawla, and parents of the participants, for a successful event.

Last but not the least, many thanks to Arya Samaj Greater Houston for hosting this event.