21 September 2021

“Peace is the only battle worth waging”
- Albert Camus

Each year International Peace Day is observed around the world to re-iterate the spirit of brotherhood, universal equity and the importance of harmony for a better tomorrow. The world has witnessed the trauma of a virus that transcended regional borders, international demarcation lines and wrought havoc in its path. The world has witnessed the ravages of climate change and global warming. But the world is witnessing, more than ever before, the race for ideological supremacy, power politics and expansionism theatrics. The need for peace and co-operation is the need of the hour.

St Joseph’s Boys’ High School in association with SCEAD (Space for Children in Education Art and Development) organized the celebrations to mark International Peace Day 2021, at SJBHS Auditorium. The delegates included a line-up of dignitaries: Limor Bletter, Deputy Chief of the Mission, Consulate General of Israel to South India; Hemanshu Vernekar Chief Executive Officer, Zentree Labs; Fr Michael John SJ, former Principal of SJBHS; Fr Sunil Fernandes SJ, Principal SJBHS; Dr Fr Charles Lasrado SJ, Principal of St Joseph’s College of Commerce; President and Vice President of the OBA and the Vice President of the PTA; Fr Vishal D’Souza SJ, Primary Administrator of SJBHS. Harish Pandey IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru South; Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, Provincial, Karnataka Jesuit Province; Fr Brian Pereira SJ, Rector, St Joseph’s Institutions; Harish Raju, Managing Director, Axis Concept were the dignitaries who were unable to attend due to prior appointments.

The event commenced in a serene ambience of prayer and the quietude of a prayer song, which echoed the significance of the day. The ceremonial lamp was lit and the proceedings began. Fr Sunil welcomed the gathering, happy to see the offline audience, heralding a slow return to normalcy. Fr Principal also introduced the dignitaries and asked the audience to resolve to carry the peace of God in their hearts and forward to their families and from there into the world.

The Chief Guest, Ms Limor Bletter spoke about the strong bilateral ties between India and Israel. She highlighted the innovative, scientific, state-of-the-art technologies shared and the progress made in sustainable development. Mr. Hemanshu Vernekar presented the audience with three ‘hacks’ for peace viz. understanding and forgiveness, the need to do a random act of kindness each day and threw light on the importance of meditation. Fr Lasrado quoted Mother Theresa as saying ‘Peace begins with a smile.’

The programme at SJBHS was interspersed with music and songs to project the message of peace and harmony. The dignitaries signed a banner in support of the United Nations theme of ‘Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.’ The commemoration ceremony came to an end with a promise to be the guardians of peace, the messengers of resolving issue through dialogue and the harbingers of a world with a cohesion of ideologies.

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