International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Successful 1st Regional Vegetarian Congress – India and Far East

from EVU News, Issue 2 /1997

During a discussion at the last World Vegetarian Congress at Johnstown with Mr. Jashu Shah, the idea of organising a Regional Congress for India and the Far East was born.

Contact: Hiren Kara, Deputy Secretary of IVU,
Pallonji Mansion, 43, Cuffe Parade,
Bombay-400 005, India

The Vegetarian Society ‘Reverence for Life’ had already conducted two seminars in the past, one at Mahableshwar and the other at Aurangabad. The success of these seminars inspired the society to organise the First Regional Seminar for India and the Far East.

The theme of the congress was ‘Live And Let Live’. A three day programme was arranged at the Fountain Hotel, Mahableshwar. The Hotel serves only vegetarian food and is the oldest holiday resort of the hill station. Over seventy delegates came from different places in India, a couple from Germany, not forgetting our distinguished guests Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Lee, Mr. Francisco Martin and Mr. Surendra Mehta. A dozen speakers were present who spoke on the subject they were specialist in, in relation to the theme ‘Live And Let Live’. Justice Shri H.H. Kantharia - who is also the Senior Vice Chairman of the Vegetarian Society ‘Reverence for Life’ inaugurated the congress. Dr. Kulin Kothari, a leading eye surgeon spoke on the relationship vegetarian food had with fewer eye problems.

Mrs. Dharia gave a cooking demonstration. Mr. Gunvant Shah spoke on values. Dr. Kinjal Suratwalla spoke about the connection between fitness and sport in relation to the theme.

Mr. Francisco Martin, Hon. Gen. Secretary of the IVU also addressed the gathering. Dr. Pankaj Parekh a paediatrician gave a beautiful slide presentation along with his talk. The last session was in Gujarati, a regional language, with Shri Saurath Shah who writes the column ‘Good Morning’ for one of the oldest regional language paper in the world ‘Bombay Samachar’, Dr. M.M. Bhamgara a leading naturopath, also the Vice Chairman of the Vegetarian Society ‘Reverence for Life’ addressed the gathering.

A 56 page booklet on the congress was prepared giving details about the Vegetarian Society activities, speakers for the congress, recipes, nutrition charts and articles on vegetarianism.

Apart from promoting brotherhood amongst vegetarians, the timing of this regional congress was to help encourage participants to attend the next World Vegetarian Congress in Bangkok, Thailand in January, 1999. Coupled with the scenic beauty of Mahablehwar, also known as Strawberry Country, and the hospitality of the Chandan family of the Fountain Hotel the participants undoubtedly found the congress a memorable event.