NEW DELHI — Dr Abraam Mathai, the Former Vice-Chairman of the Minorities Commission and Founder Chairman of Harmony Foundation, has written to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, requesting the global body to declare renowned social worker Mother Teresa’s birthday as “International Day of Compassion”.
“As I introduce Harmony Foundation to you as an international NGO with a strong presence in the civil society in India, which works in the realms and spheres of Social Justice, my main aim is to petition your good self to implore the United Nations General Assembly to declare August 26th which is the birthday of Mother Teresa as the ‘International Day of Compassion”’ – in recognition of the late Mother Teresa’s contribution to the culture of care, concern and compassion for suffering humanity worldwide,” Dr Mathai wrote in his letter.
He also highlighted that the UN has earlier declared “several days for the benefit and well-being of humanity like for instance “International Youth Day”, “International Human Rights Day”, “International Day of the Girl Child” “International Literacy Day”, “World Environment Day” and many more which indeed inculcates a sense of responsibility in the international community.”
Further elaborating his argument to celebrate Mother Teresa’s birthday, which falls on August 26, as the “International Day of Compassion”, Dr Mathai said, “The United Nations has also instituted days recognising the achievements of icons who have led selfless lives. For instance Nelson Mandela Day on July 18 to shine a light on the legacy of a man who changed the 20th century and helped shape the 21st as well.”
“Just like the late Nelson Mandela fought for social justice throughout his life, similarly the late Mother Teresa should also be accorded the same for the tireless work she did by devoting her entire life to compassion,” he further wrote.
In his argument, Dr Mathai stressed that the UN “should pass a resolution recognising the unequalled and matchless contributions of the late Mother Teresa”.
“This should be given immediate attention and prime consideration, especially in today’s world where compassion, care and concern for suffering humanity are vanishing at a very high rate. It is for this reason that I fervently petition the United Nations to honour and commemorate the selfless service of Mother Teresa towards the downtrodden and the unwanted in society,” the former Vice Chairman of the Minorities Commission wrote.
In his bid to promote compassion in the times we live, Dr Mathai said, “The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on 24th February this year has all but faded away into oblivion in our memories but unfortunately it is very much live on the ground in Ukraine with as per UN estimates itself 12.8 million people and 2.5 million children displaced or separated.”
He further said that in accordance with examples cited by him, Harmony Foundation “looks forward with anticipation that the United Nations General Assembly will declare August 26 as the “International Day of Compassion” in recognition of the late Mother Teresa’s contribution to the culture of care, concern and compassion for suffering humanity worldwide.