Older adults at Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre in Atlantic City spreading message of Mahatma Gandhi

Tamala Edwards Image
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Older adults at Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre share life, work of Gandhi
The Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre opened last fall in Atlantic City, with several older adults working to further spread Gandhi's message here in the United States.

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Mukesh "Mike" Chapatwala has been volunteering at the Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre in Atlantic City, New Jersey since retiring last year.

"I get the satisfaction to convey the good message of Gandhi and MLK," says Chapatwala.

He says Gandhi's teachings and message of nonviolence have been a big influence on his life.

"I'm very proud of this message," he says.

Chapatwala is from the same state in India as Gandhi.

"And this is the first museum in America," he says.

The centre is modeled after a museum in New Delhi, India that opened in 2005.

"And a lot of the inspiration that we have here is closely connected to what happens there," says Aaron Richards, the new Development Director for the Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre.

He calls the centre "an immersive, digital, multimedia experience" for visitors.

The Aditya Birla Group donated the artifacts used in the exhibits and the nonprofit, Gandhian Society, manages the centre.

"Our main objective is to promote Gandhian values - his philosophy of nonviolence, peace, social justice," says Mahesh Wani, Secretary of Gandhian Society.

Bhadra Butala is the Founder of both Gandhian Society, as well as the Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre.

"And I want to teach all the peoples the Gandhi principle," says Butala.

The non-violent tactics that Gandhi used to resist British colonialism influenced Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights Movement.

Wani calls the centre "a dream come true" for Mr. Butala, who worked a very long time to establish a permanent Gandhi museum here in the United States.

Chapatwala gives tours of the 11 exhibits, with each representing a different Gandhian principle.

Visitors can see how Gandhi lived, what he experienced, and hear him speak.

"Our goal is to apply the principles of Gandhi into a community," says Richards.

Wani says he hopes a museum like this one will inspire the different communities of Atlantic City, New Jersey and beyond, "to come together."

"And fight against the discrimination with the nonviolence," says Butala.

Chapatwala says the museum is conveying one of the good messages to the world.

For more information:

Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre

Gandhian Society

Aditya Birla Group

Eternal Gandhi Peace Centre
109 Arkansas Ave.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401