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Gandhi Day celebrates decade of giving back

Junior Kristine Liautaud helped paint a mural under the West Flagler Street bridge during National Gandhi Day of Service 2009. This year, Liautaud signed up through COISO to make it the third year she participates in this event. “I used to be a Girl Scout, and with my background, I love to do community service,” she said. “There’€™s something about Gandhi Day that makes me keep coming back.” File Photo

Get your paintbrushes and shovels ready. The University of Miami’s largest annual day of service, Gandhi Day, is turning 10 this month.

On Sept. 22, an estimated 1,000 undergraduate students will go out into the Miami community to work on nearly 20 projects, ranging from planting trees to feeding the homeless. The 10th anniversary of Gandhi Day is anticipated to be the largest in UM history.

Gandhi Day is based on the principles by which Mahatma Gandhi lived his life. The Indian civil rights leader led his country to independence through peace and community building. Gandhi Day aims to pay its respects to the late civil rights leader by promoting these same ideals right here in Miami.

To Gandhi Day co-chair Vidhya Krishnan, a junior, the various projects around the city are a great example of the values Gandhi practiced during his life.

“Gandhi believed in finding self-fulfillment in the fulfillment of others, and I think Gandhi Day does just that,” Krishnan said.

Students who have participated in Gandhi Day in years past agree that the work they did was self-fulfilling.

“I think Gandhi day is about more than simply helping the community,” senior Alyssa Wilkins said. “It gives you a chance to problem solve with whole new groups of people; to make something special for hundreds of future children or adults.”

Gandhi Day is one of the different days of service sponsored by the Butler Center every year. The Butler Center’s goal through these days of service is to create a campus-wide environment with a strong sense of service.

“The Butler Center is focused on sustainable service,” said Mike Piacentino, the Butler Center public relations coordinator. “We want students to think about what they can do in the future. These issues are not just singular.”

September 9, 2012

Reporters

Christian Smith


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