REMEMBERING AN ICON
NEWS INDIA-TIMES, DECEMBER 13, 2002
Top row, from left,
Ambassador Van Den
Heuval and Meera
Gandhi; middle row,
from left, Nina,
Christine and Wendy
of Bunny Roosevelt;
and front row, from
left, David Roosevelt,
Laura Roosevelt and
flanked by Billy and
first cousins of
NEW YORK, NY - India and the United States were
linked together in a recent event organized by the
Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill (ERVK) at the
home of Meera and Vikram Gandhi in New York. The
Gandhi home, a townhouse, had been the Manhattan
residence of one of the 20th century's most influential
and admired women in the years she was actively
pursuing her United Nations goals.
The Gandhis hosted the event at their 'legacy home,'
a part of the ongoing effort by ERVK to continue the
"dialogue and change through programs related to
Roosevelt's humanitarian concerns."
Roosevelt had earlier links to India. She had traveled
to India and was the author of a book in which she
pays tribute to India's democracy.
Ambassadors, including India's Permanent
Representative to the U.N., V.K. Nambiar, leaders of
finance and industry and socialites gathered along
with ERVK associates to remember the lady who was
the chief architect of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and to voice support for ERVK in its
mission to carry on with the Roosevelt work.
While it is known to students of history that President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt often needled Prime
Minister Winston Churchill with his support for the
cause of India's independence during World War II,
Eleanor's interest in India dates from a later period.
She visited India at the invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru
She called that experience "very rewarding," from
which sprung her book 'India and the Awakening
East' Orville Prescott wrote in The New York Times,
"Reading 'India and the Awakening East' one is
reminded once again of all the qualities that have
made Eleanor Roosevelt a political and personal
phenomenon: Her prodigious energy, her passionate
idealism, her modesty and tact, her spontaneous
sympathy for others, her optimism and enthusiasm."
Val-Kill is the modest house near the Hudson River
in Hyde Park, the only home that was ever hers.
It was declared a National Historic Site in 1977, the
only one dedicated to a First Lady. Val-Fill welcomes
visitors as Mrs. Roosevelt used to welcome her many
guests. Visitors may tour the Val-Kill Cottage and
enjoy the lovely gardens and grounds.
If they wish to contribute to the many noble causes
she supported, ERVK is there to help them make a