V. Toleikis receives award “For Merit to Friendship between India and Lithuania” in Rusnė
On 25 July, Vytautas Toleikis, a teacher and public figure, received an award “For Merit to the Friendship between India and Lithuania”. The solemn ceremony was held in Rusnė on 25 July.
The ceremony was also attended by Vytautas Laurinaitis, Mayor of the Šilutė District Municipality, Dalia Drobnienė, Elder of Rusnė, the United States Ambassador to Lithuania Robert Gilchrist, the Ambassador of Germany Matthias P. Sonn, the Israeli Ambassador Yossi Levy, the Ambassador of India Tsewang Namgyal, Lithuania's Ambassador to India Julius Pranevičius, the Honorary Consul of India to Lithuania Rajinder Chaudhary, and the Chair of the Lithuanian Jewish Community Faina Kukliansky.
V. Toleikis has discovered and researched the friendship between India's independence leader Mahatma Gandhi and a Litvak born in Rusnė – Hermann Kallenbach. The monument to the two friends by Romas Kvintas was unveiled in 2015 in Rusnė. It stands on the banks of the Atmata River.
The award “For Merit to the Friendship between India and Lithuania“ was established by the Lithuania - India Forum. It has been awarded for the second time already. In 2019, it was awarded to the Honorary Consul of India to Lithuania R. Chaudhary.
A new collection of articles “Twin Souls” about M. Gandhi, the architect H. Kallenbach and their joint activities in South Africa was also presented during the ceremony.
M. Gandhi and H. Kallenbach met in South Africa in the early 20th century and became close friends. H. Kallenbach financially supported Gandhi's Satyagraha movement.
2021 will mark the 130th birth anniversary of H. Kallenbach.