Michigan Peace Team co-founder gains worldwide recognition

Monday 19 October 2009


Rev. C. Peter Dougherty



Lansing, Michigan; October 16, 2009: The Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation of Mumbai, India has announced that the 2009 recipient of its international award recognizing contributions to Gandhian values outside of India has been awarded to Michigan Peace Team’s Rev. C. Peter Dougherty. The prestigious award will be formally presented at a special function on Friday, November 6th in Mumbai.

The International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India was instituted by the Foundation in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jamnalal Bajaj. Jamnalal Bajaj was a devout follower of Gandhi.  He was also an industrialist, a philanthropist, and Indian independence fighter.  Gandhi adopted Bajaj as his fifth son.

“I’m honored and humbled”, said Dougherty, co-founder of Michigan Peace Team.  “This is an incredible privilege; and that it comes from such an honorable organization, with such an honorable history, means all that much more”.

This venerated award carries a citation, a beautiful trophy and a cash prize of 500,000 rupees [approximately $10,000 USD]. It is given every year to a non-Indian citizen for their contribution in promoting Gandhian values outside India by:

  • Promoting peace and harmony among people and friendliness among nations through application of Gandhian philosophy of truth and non-violence.
  • Ending exploitation in any form and seeking solution of social, cultural, economic and political problems through Gandhian principles and constructive programs.
  • Demonstrating innovative work in social organizations with a view to promoting Gandhian values of purity of means and ends by awakening moral conscience, fostering community, self-reliance and bringing about harmony of human life with nature.

Previous recipients include Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Dr. Daisaku Ikeda of Japan.

Dougherty will depart for India at the end of the month and, after receiving the award, plans to meet with Gandhian and other peace activists in Mumbai, Delhi, Wardha, Calcutta, and villages in Bengal, sharing information about peacemaking efforts in the United States and India, and doing nonviolent skills sharing (including demonstrations of the skills taught in Michigan Peace Team’s curriculum).  He will also spend time at the ashrams of Mahatma Gandhi and his disciple Vinoba Bave – – ashrams that played an integral part in the development of Gandhi’s life and mission.

Michigan Peace Team was founded in 1993 to provide training in active nonviolence, and deploys peace teams into places of conflict (both domestically and internationally) to reduce violence.  MPT convenes, supports, and participates with local peace action groups and gatherings, and mentors individuals seeking experience with international tams in places of conflict.  It also educates the public to the vision and practice of active nonviolence.

International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India

International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India

Established in 1977 in the memory of Jamnalal Bajaj, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, the Foundation strives to serve the ideals to which Jamnalal Bajaj had dedicated his life and promotes the kind of Gandhian constructive activities in which he himself was deeply involved during his life-time.

For more info, Contact: Mary L. Hanna, MPT Operations Manager

Ph: 517-484-3178; Email: michiganpeaceteam@gmail.com or maryhanna.mpt@gmail.com