Ms. Sonia Deotto

  • 2019
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India

Born: August 4, 1971

In 1999, Ms. Sonia Deotto, a social artist, came to India to research on the Mandala concept, universal archetype for peace and harmony. Its outcome was OraWorldMandala (OWM), an art project to visualize the planet as a “World Mandala” and to connect its different continents through creative expressions. In 2004, as a research fellow at Gujarat Vidyapith, Ms. Deotto integrated Ahimsa (non-violence) with art. This was her turning point to incorporate action into the OWM and transform it into a global movement for creative Ahimsa.

Ms. Deotto constantly strives to connect India with Mexico – while experimenting at the antipodes with the tenets of Gandhian philosophy, truth, non-violence and interdependence that also reflect the nature of Mandala. Some of her key contributions include training ‘Artists of Ahimsa’ volunteers to form ‘Mandala Peace Actions’, research and development to effectively adapt to the rural and urban models of education, conflict resolution and the most recent one being the first trans-border Ahimsa initiative in Tijuana-San Diego.

For the benefit of the Mexican commoner, Ms. Deotto is actively involved in translating Gandhian literature in Spanish, starting from the Gandhi Katha by Shri Narayan Desai. Ms. Sonia Deotto has deepened the work of Gandhiji by bringing people together across regions and religions by using her artistic skills to create and represent the common-ness of humanity.