LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prem Rawat was awarded the honorary title of Citizen of Sao Paulo on Tuesday, April 9, at a special ceremony held at the Municipal Chamber of the City.
With over 300 guests in attendance, the event was broadcast live over the web, and recorded by four TV channels in Brazil.
The theme of the event was "Sustainability and a Culture of Peace," which was particularly poignant for a city that has suffered from tragic violence over recent years.
Senior Alderman Gilberto Natalini, a leading advocate for building a culture of peace, hosted the citizenship ceremony. He mentioned in a pre-meeting with VIPs, including Prem Rawat, that some say it is statistically safer to live in Baghdad than in Sao Paulo. Although the city had seen a drop in violence, Prem Rawat made the point that the loss of just one life was too much and that a culture of peace building is urgently needed. It is evident that the city of Sao Paulo is keen to progress this effort.
On the request of the Sao Paulo government, The Prem Rawat Foundation is helping the city by implementing its Peace Education Program, starting in 10 community centers with more to follow.
The award ceremony was preceded by several key speakers talking about the need for a culture of peace, its importance to Sao Paulo, and the positive influence that a message of peace like that of Prem Rawat can bring. Speeches included a letter of congratulations and support for peace from congressman Walter Feldman, a proponent of peace in the Brazilian Congress.
Prem Rawat then spoke for over 30 minutes on the importance of peace in the life of each individual. He explored the issue of hunger and how, on average, half of the world's food production is thrown away. Some 1.2 billion tons a year is wasted. The fact that such high levels of food production exist shows that there is no shortage of food in the world. However, greed has led to shortage and starvation for many.
Prem Rawat believes that reduction in hunger could reduce criminality, as has been the case in communities benefiting from the supply of good local food at facilities created by The Prem Rawat Foundation.
He went on to talk about what would be humanity's greatest achievement. It was not cell phones or technology or going to the moon. Rather, humanity's greatest achievement would be peace, and this was an achievement well worth striving for.
The event concluded with Gilberto Natalini and journalist Soninha Francine awarding the citizenship of Sao Paulo to Prem Rawat.
He was also awarded the Mark of Peace, a replica of the famous monument to peace by the same name in Sao Paulo. Part of an international peace initiative conceived by Luigi Brancati, the replica is given to distinguished individuals to honor them for their work for social action and building a culture of peace.
Previous awardees of honorary citizenship of Sao Paulo include Pope Benedict XVI In 2007, U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2008, and the Dalai Lama in 2011.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)The Prem Rawat Foundation promotes Prem Rawat's message of peace and his vision of addressing fundamental human needs so that people everywhere can live with dignity, peace, and prosperity. For more information, visit: www.tprf.org
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation