India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sept. 1 inaugurated the 125th birth anniversary of ISKCON's founder, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and released a Rs 125 Commemorative Coin in his honor via video conferencing.
Speaking from New Delhi in the presence of 600 ISKCON temples and devotees from more than 60 countries, Modi praised Srila Prabhupada's tireless effort in sharing the teachings of Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita and the Indian culture with the world.
The prime minister recollected the life of Srila Prabhupada who after overcoming many challenges established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1966 and opened 108 temples worldwide, which today number more than 800 such centers, said a press release. In India, he established his head office in Mumbai and lay the foundation for the 300 centers across the country.
After releasing the Rs 125 Commemorative Coin minted by Alipore Mint, Modi thanked the ISKCON members for their tireless efforts in not just spreading the culture of India but also their social initiatives such as running the world's largest vegetarian food relief program, especially during the Covid pandemic wherein the volunteers served over 25 crore meals across the country.
Minister of Culture and Tourism G. Kishan Reddy and Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, chairman of the ISKCON Bureau, also addressed the event which marks a year-long celebration to remember the life and legacy of Srila Prabhupada.
Several different events and programs have been planned across the world to commemorate the year. Programs include international cultural festivals, conferences, school contests for children and youths, along with outdoor activities to take the message of peace and goodwill that Srila Prabhupada taught.