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May 16, 2020: What Would Gandhi Do?


Watch: Video Recording

Read: Summary By Gayathri Ramachandran  


Coronavirus has uprooted the fabric of our lives. The global pandemic has unveiled gaping holes in our economic and social systems, unleashed humanity's capacity for goodwill, and propelled us into an uncertain future. How do we embrace not-knowing, recognize fear without giving into it, and respond with a heart of compassion? What would Gandhi do? How do we align with the laws of love and nonviolence in such times?

Join us with social change luminaries and "love warriors" to dive into questions, and more. In this Awakin Talk webinar, our panel will be composed of ...

Dr. Abhay Bang is a doctor, medical researcher, social activist, community anchor, and a Gandhian “ladder” in the truest sense of the word. His early formative years were spent in Sevagram Ashram’s Nai Talim School, Gandhi’s astonishingly prescient experiment in the education of body, mind and soul. At the age of 14, in a unique tryst with destiny, a call to medicine chose Dr. Bang. He became a doctor and acquired a Master’s specialization in public health. In 1985, he and his wife, Dr. Rani Bang, settled in Gadchiroli, one of the most resource-poor districts of Maharashtra, India. From there, he established the NGO, SEARCH (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health). Through people-focussed, evidence-based research and care, the work of SEARCH has revolutionized village health care systems, and influenced both national and international policies, multiple times over. The recipients of numerous international and national awards, including the prestigious Padma Shri, they continue to live and experiment humbly, following the Gandhi-inspired motto, “social change through service.” [more]

Sister Lucy Kurien, lovingly nicknamed "Mother Teresa of Pune" (in India) is a huge-hearted Christian nun whose work is filled with incredible, selfless love. In 1997, she started a sanctuary called Maher (which means 'mother's home') for abused and destitute children, women, and men. Today, over 4,000 women and 2,000 children have been housed for healing and rehabilitation across their 38+ homes in the region). She's the recipient of several honors, including the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar "Women Power Award" conferred by India's president, and 2016 Vanitha Women of the Year Award. Upon meeting Pope Francis, she asked for his blessings, and he immediately turned it around, asking Sister Lucy to give him her blessings. :) [more]

The panel will be moderated by Meghna Banker, a gifted graphic designer, filmmaker, and artist behind many projects whose ripples have spread to millions worldwide. In her twenties, she moved to Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India with a call to dedicate her life to service. Over the last decade, Meghna has been one of the founding pillars behind Moved By Love platform, where she has hosted dozens of "hands, head, heart" retreats -- some with attendance from the likes of a Noble Peace Laureate, royalty from Japan, and international best-selling authors. As an artist, she spearheaded a Wisdom Crafts store as a platform for artists to step into a shift from transaction to trust. More globally, she is a visionary behind six-week "Laddership" circles, to help project initiators more effectively lead with love. [more]

During the call, we'll have stories from a couple of everyday heroes -- like Bhaskar Kulkarni ! A nature lover, wildlife photographer, artist, chef, Bhaskar is best known as a “love warrior” who inspires everyday kindness. While serving as a chef and coordinator of Seva Cafe for 13+ years, he freely gave away his secret ingredient — pure love. With a deep connection to nature from a young age, Bhaskar cares for birds and animals on the street. When he got his first camera, he began capturing them through his lens of compassion. During the pandemic, he eats just one meal a day, while also feeding stray animals and taking care of those sick or diseased. He sees his interconnectedness with everything, and his presence brings joy and light to those around him.

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