Narayan Bhai lived with Gandhi for the first 23 years of his life and has devoted the rest of his life to promoting the study and practice of nonviolence in diverse fieldsAlong with the lecture, as in many of Gandhi’s public meetings, a bhajan mandali (singing group with instruments) will present an offering of songs.
Narayan Desai is the Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad, the university established in 1920 by M.K. Gandhi, who was its first Chancellor. The son of Mahadev Desai, personal assistant and close confidant of Gandhi, Mr. Desai lived in Gandhi’s ashram from birth till age 23. Author of more than fifty books in English, Gujarati, and Hindi, he has received two Sahitya Academy Awards for literature and the prestigious Gyanpith Award. Mr. Desai has worked with Vinoba Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan, and has had personal interactions with Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez, and the Dalai Lama--who wrote the preface to four-volume Gandhi biography. He was awarded the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Nonviolence in 1998, "for his tireless work in favor of . . . inter-religious and inter-ethnic understanding, tolerance and harmony and his achievements in the education and training for non-violence and peace, as well as anti-nuclear activism." Since 2004 he has presented “Gandhi Katha” programs--lectures on Gandhi's life, work, and legacy, with musical accompaniment. In addition to presentations all over India, he has brought the "Gandhi Katha" to the UK, USA, and Mexico. As a university Chancellor, he promotes international education and research, emphasizing appropriate and sustainable technologies.
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