Here is a press release emailed to me today
CHENNAI TO HOST FIRST EVER HISTORIC HINDU SPIRITUAL AND SERVICE FAIR
FORTY HINDU SERVICE ORGANISATIONS TO SHOWCASE ACTIVITIES, LITERATURE UNDER ONE ROOF
Chennai, Feb 4: Hindu religious and spiritual organisations which have avoided media glare and publicity and silently worked for decades among women, children, youth, villagers, tribals and deprived sections of the society as also natural disaster affected people are coming together for the first time in a unique exhibition of their activities and literature in Chennai beginning February 6.
The three-day Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair, being organised at the Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Anna Nagar, aims to provide a platform to exhibit the spiritual and service activities of the different sponsoring and participating institutions to the public, particularly the students and youth and also enable the followers and members of different organisations to have an overview of what other organisations are doing so as to promote a healthy, harmonious and mutually respectable relations among them, Fair Secretary and National Director of Chinmaya Yuvak Kendra, Swami Mitrananda told reporters here.
He also expressed hope that the Fair would bring about the much required synergy between these organisations, particularly in humanitarian relief activities.
This will be the first of many such fairs which will be later held on bigger scale in different parts of the country by the other Chapters of GFCH and the Fair will be extended to spiritual and religious organisations belonging to other faiths such as Islam and Christianity to showcase their contributions to the society, he said.
About 40 leading Hindu organisations including Arya Samaj, AIM for Seva, Brahmakumaris, Art of Living, Chinmaya Mission, Vidya Bharati, Sewa Bharati, Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Patanjali Yoga Peeth, Ramakrishna Math, Ekal Vidyalaya, Vivekananda Kendra, Mata Amritanandamayi Madhom, Oneness University etc are participating in the event, noted danseuse Padma Bhushan Dr Padma Subramaniam said.
The inaugural function of the Fair would be addressed by Swami Abhiramananda of Ramakrishna Math, Swami Dayananda Saraswathi of Hindu Acharya Sabha, Swami Nithyananda Paramahamsa of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam and noted thinker S Gurumurthy, she said.
Devotional and cultural programmes including bhajans, chanting of the Bhagavat Geetha, play by students of different school and institutions would also be organised during the three-day event, which would also have a food court serving different delicacies.
The fair is being organised by the Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony (India) which was launched in Delhi in January 2008 at a function attended and addressed by great religious and spiritual masters belonging to all faiths including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, founder of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha Swami Dayanand Saraswathi, founder of the Art of Living Sri Sri Ravishankar, renowned Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, the then Chief of Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, the founder of Dhyana Peetam Paramhamsa Swami Nithyananda, the Director of Chinmaya Yuvak Kendra Swami Mitrananda, Jain Muni Sumermal, the Arch Bishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Chief of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband Moulana Mohammod Ali Madani, Rabbi Ezekiel Issac Malekar of Delhi Jewish Synagogue and Swami Prajnan Mitranand of Mata Amritanandamayi Muth.
The GFCH was launched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam delivered the presidential address at the function and blessed the initiative. The spiritual masters and religious scholars who attended the function are now the Founder Patrons of the GFCH. The Bahai community in India has also joined this unique initiative, Swami Mitrananda said.
The GFCH is founded on the conviction that all faiths are valid and sacred for their respective adherents who are strongly motivated by such faiths. The GFCH is founded equally on the concern that different civilisations sourced in the different faiths are moving towards conflicts and clashes. It believes that a harmonious relationship between them can be achieved through a free and frank dialogue between them add to their potential and propensity to promote, and to avoid and resolve, conflicts.
The GFCH trusts that such an initiative will increase their willingness to co-exist with other faiths and civilisations and help to avoid conflicts among them. One of the initiatives taken by the GFCH is to work with the Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband in the efforts of the latter to hold rallies against terrorism and to promote religious harmony in different parts of India, and on behalf of GFCH SriSri Ravishankar also addressed one such rally in Hyderabad in October 2008. The GFCH is planning to undertake more initiatives to promote understanding and harmony among different religious and spiritual organisations.
The entry to the fair is free for the general public and many top religious and social leaders are expected to grace the fair with their benign presence, the Swami said.
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