HOUSTON — A new museum off the Sam Houston tollway near Stafford Road wants visitors to reflect, learn and, "Practice your truth, whatever it is, nonviolently."
Founder Atul Kothari said the Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston has been in the works since 2016. It’s believed to be the first free-standing museum in North America dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. It’s expected to be open to the public by the end of July.
But the museum’s interim director, G.V. Krishnan, gave KHOU 11 News an early look.
"As soon as you walk in, we’re showing visitors first, what’s happening in our world and the struggles and problems we are facing," Krishnan said.
Krishnan hopes the current context will allow visitors to better understand Gandhi’s journey.
The museum highlights Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s childhood in India and early adulthood in Africa, leading up to Gandhi, better known to the world as the nationalist leader who promoted nonviolent political resistance.
Mahatma, which means "great-souled" or "venerable," was a title given to Gandhi at this time. The museum also features those who were influenced by Gandhi’s message, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Trustee Sesh Bala hopes the museum’s message resonates, especially with children.
"There is war, groups fighting with each other and gun violence in schools," Bala said. "These are the times we should influence thinking and teach kids the importance of resolving conflicts in a non-violent way."
The Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston is located at 12379 Riceville School Rd., Houston, TX 77071.