The Eternal Gandhi Peace Center and Museum, located on North Arkansas Ave in Atlantic City, officially opened to the public last week. The first museum in the US dedicated to recounting Mahatma Gandhi’s life, the project was the dream of Bhadra Butala, the founder and grand patron of the Gandhian Society of New Jersey. The project was finally fulfilled in collaboration with the Aditya Birla Group and its chairperson, Rajashree Birla. Birla’s passion to remember the Mahatma has resulted in the Eternal Gandhi project spearheaded by Nitin Mathuria, the president of the Aditya Birla Group, with similar interactive museums across the world, in Delhi, Birmingham and Bhubaneswar, India. The museum will be managed by Atlantic City Youth Enrolled at Ideal Institute of Technology.
The digital installations of the exhibit consist of interactive screens, videos, and audio commentary, sometime in the voice of Gandhi himself, that highlight the timeline of Gandhi’s life. One exhibit offers the opportunity to listen to Gandhi’s radio broadcasts. A life-sized statue of Gandhi kneeling, holding thread to a weaving mechanism, sits at the entrance of the museum, which many passersby thought was real.
The museum, next to the Adidas store at the Tanger Outlets, is overseen by Ren Parikh a resident of Atlantic City and founder of the Ideal Institute of Technology, a vocational school aimed to teach teens and young adults about alternative work options and a school that uses an “earn while you learn” approach. “The community should feel like they have a place to go,” said Parikh.
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