Indian children dress as Gandhi to mark 150th birthday of independence leader

Indian schoolchildren across the country dressed as Mahatma Gandhi on Monday, October 1, to mark the upcoming 150th birthday celebration of modern India's founding father and promoter of peace.

In the western city of Rajkot, 150 students stood in the formation of India's map while wearing bold caps, glasses and the traditional robes of Gandhi.

On the grounds of a school in the southern city of Chennai hundreds of students took part in a yoga session, also dressed as Gandhi - some also having shaved their heads and covered themselves in white paint.

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India observes October 2 not only as Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi's birthday), but also as the International Day of non-violence - an ideal that Gandhi fought for throughout his life.

Gandhi, who was born in 1869, played a key role in India's fight for independence. He was assassinated on January 30, 1948, just three months after he led India to freedom from British rule through a non-violent struggle.

Tuesday, October 2, will mark the start of a two-year celebration of Gandhi's 150th birthday, the country's ministry of culture said on its website.