Mahatma Gandhi Library (MGL)
The Mahatma Gandhi Library, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2002 with the mission to increase public awareness, especially to the children, of Gandhian philosophy and teachings, highlighting the universal values of Peace, Truth, Nonviolence Love, and Service.
In collaboration with more than 100 organizations, Mahatma Gandhi Week is celebrated annually around Gandhi’s birthday (October 2). Mahatma Gandhi Week is actually a one-month period of activities including essay, speech, poster, multi-media, and debate contests, field trips, storytelling, and other activities with the aim of involving youth in understanding the work of Mahatma Gandhi. “Gandhi Darshan” (Glimpses of Gandhi) is exhibited annually at a local library.
Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc., is formed as a 501(c)(3) organization
Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, celebrated at Emery Weiner School; first Mahatma Gandhi Week; Houston Community College students create Gandhi Mural in Dupree Park; local students make field trips to Gandhi statue in Hermann Park and Mural in Dupree Park; Arya Samaj Greater Houston joins MGL as a partner and organizes speech contest; Arya Samaj Youth Mandal begins providing volunteers for 1000 Lights for Peace
First citywide celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as 1000 Lights for Peace at Houston City Hall; first 5K Walk for Peace; Consul General of India Skand Tayal donates Gandhi Darshan (Glimpses) exhibition to MGL; KUHT screens A Force More Powerful documentary; Unity Church joins as affiliated organization and begins Wisdom of Gandhi workshops
Multimedia contest begins
Gandhi Sesquicentennial Committee formed to commemorate Gandhi’s 150th birthday in 2019
Mahatma Gandhi Week concludes with an auspicious celebration called 1000 Lights for Peace, which starts with a Walk for Peace in Hermann Park. The walk includes a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in McGovern Centennial Gardens, giving the walkers an opportunity to pay their respect. It continues through the beautiful park and ends at Miller Outdoor Theatre, where there is an international cultural program with participants representing communities from Asia, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America. Up to 1,500 people typically attend.
A variety of prominent guest speakers have participated in the festivities, including former mayors, Rev. Bill Lawson, businessman and philanthropist Jim McIngvale, and Harris County Commissioner Judge Emmett. There is an awards ceremony for winners of the various contests from Mahatma Gandhi Week. The finale and highlight of the evening is a candle lighting ceremony in which all present can light a candle as their personal pledge to practice peace and nonviolence in their own lives.
MGL also has an extensive collection of books, artifacts, and an exhibition consisting of authentic pictures depicting the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. We support annual Wisdom of Gandhi workshops at Unity of Houston and also provide speakers and presentations to various organizations in and around Houston. We host booths at the city’s International Festival, Vegan Festival, Interfaith Ministries Refugee Day, and Indian Independence Day celebrations. MGL’s Glimpses of Gandhi exhibit has also been displayed at University of Texas, Sam Houston State University, Houston Public Library downtown, Harris and Fort Bend County public libraries, churches, and many other places.