The Hague : Over 800 people of different ages, nationalities and walks of life participated in a ‘Gandhi March’ held in The Hague, the seat of government of the Netherlands, on Sunday as part of a ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign organised to mark the International Day of Non-Violence.

The day’s proceedings began with the Netherlands Marathi Mandal entertaining participants with traditional dhol and dances inside the compound of the iconic Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, reports IANS.

Deputy Mayors of The Hague, Rabin Baldewsingh and Karsten Klein as well as Ambassador of India to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony made brief speeches flagging off the march.  A spark taken from the eternal ‘World Peace flame’ that burns outside the Peace Palace, (created using a flame from the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat in Delhi)  was handed over to the Deputy Mayors and Ambassador Venu Rajamony, who led the march along with Ambassadors of many countries, Chan Santokhi, MP, and leader of Opposition from Suriname and leaders of the Indian community, according to a press release from the Indian Embassy, The Hague.

The colourful march guided by motorcycle outriders in front and with mounted police on horses at the back, wound through the streets of the city for about an hour before concluding at the historic Grote Kerk or Big Church of The Hague.

The marchers wore T shirts specially designed for the occasion with the ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign logo of Gandhiji walking with a stick in one hand and a cycle in the other. They also carried posters and shouted slogans advocating non-violence and peace as well as the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Other dignitaries who took part in the activities included the Ambassadors of South Africa, UK, Austria, Spain, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Political leader of Indian origin and celebrity fitness advocate and inspirational speaker Milind Soman, Theo Henrar, Chairman of Tata Steel Nederland, Prof Vinod Subramaniam, Rector Magnificus of Vrije University in Amsterdam, former Members of the Netherlands Parliament R.Ramlal and Tanya Jednand Singh.

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