The University of Fiji took another bold step by launching a new center named after India’s most famous freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi, to promote peace in the country.

The Gandhi-Tappoo Centre for Writing, Ethics and Peace Studies is co-named after the founder of the Tappoo Group of Companies, Tappoobhai Kanji.

Tappoobhai, 92, was born in a small village near Porbandar, Gujarat, which is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.

The centers launch on Tuesday coincided with Gandhi’s birthday.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra, said there had never been a greater need to promote peace and a common cause for all people in Fiji than now, which made Gandhis teachings relevant for the country.

I must say that Mahatma Gandhi is especially relevant to us at the crossroads that we find ourselves. Gandhi stood for finding just solutions, he stood for ethical leadership without trappings and he stood for building peace and inclusiveness, Chandra said.

Tappoo Group chairman, Kanti Tappoo said that in keeping with the changing times, future generations should be better prepared to meet these challenges through strong educational programs, values, ethical and moral standards.

Gandhi advocated there was no substitute for hard work and service to fellow men and I hope that generations of students would be inspired to take up social responsibility that true learning, understanding and brotherhood would be developed and that the center would provide a focus point of nation-building and harmony, Tappoo said.

The launch also coincided with the International Day of Peace and Non-Violence declared by the United Nations General Assembly in Gandhi’s honour.

Source: The Daily Post – Thursday, 4th October 2007

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