CGI Lakshmanan visits the Gandhi Statue
The welcome festivities for the new Consul General of India for the southeastern U.S.A., Ramesh Babu Lakshmanan, included his visit to the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Dr. King National Historic Site, a federal State Park facility adjacent to the King Center, facilitated by the Gandhi Foundation of the U.S.A. (GFUSA).
[Left] Consul General Lakshmanan at the Gandhi Room at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.
The ceremonial garlanding of the statue was the first on the agenda. Lakshmanan was followed by invited guests that included Heidi Tauscher, attorney and founder of the Sacred Friends Programs; Sandra McQueen, educator and past President of the GA Chapter of Fulbright Association; Sanjay Sehgal, Chairman and CEO of the MSys Technologies; and Major Parmesh “Bob” Erramilli, member of Johns Creek City Council. Raj Razdan, who was recently bestowed the Lifetime Achievement award by Sewa International, assisted in hosting this event.
Soon after the garlanding of the statue, the Executive Director of the GFUSA, Antony Thaliath, briefly introduced Lakshmanan and spoke of his illustrious career. He then invited Razdan to bring his welcome remarks. Razdan shared some amazing events previous to the installation and also soon after, reflecting on the power the Gandhi statue emits.
Attendees at the Gandhi Statue at the King Center
Lakshmanan spoke next and thanked all for being there and hosting him at such a noble place. His remarks were followed by greetings from Dr. Tauscher, Dr. McQueen, Major Erramilli, and Sanjay Sehgal. Sehgal presented a Heartfulness book, Spiritual Anatomy, authored by his mentor Guru Kamlesh “Daaji” Mehta
Judy Forte, the Superintendent of the Parks Service, who has been responsible for hosting several Indian dignitaries at the Gandhi statue, was honored by the GFUSA and the Indian Consulate. She was garlanded by the traditional Indian scarf and invited to speak. She spoke of the Gandhi-King friendship that trickled down to the communities and what it meant for the National Parks to have his statue present at the Dr. King estate.
Viren Mayani spoke of how First Lady Rosalynd Carter was a Gandhian in spirit and how much she had toiled for the underprivileged in the world. A true apostle of peace, she deserved to be remembered with the two global apostles of peace, Dr. King and Gandhi. He then requested that everyone remember her by keeping a minute’s silence.
The group then walked the “Freedom March” across to the King crypts, passing the eternal “Dream” flame. Lakshmanan laid floral tributes at the flame and the crypts. This was followed by a visit inside the King Center, including the Gandhi room, the Coretta Scott King room, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. room. The group continued on to the historic Ebenezer Church where Dr. King preached, later followed by Reverend [now Senator] Raphael Wornock. A brief stop at the Church concluded with a stop at the Kings’ residence before all dispersed to their respective destinations.
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