ENARADA, Bangalore, August 31, 2014
For a multi-religious, multi-lingual and multicultural country likes India maintaining peace and communal harmony is imperative to ensure its progress, stability and its own existence as a secular democratic nation. Sadly many a time our country is witnessing violent clashes and animosity even at the slightest provocation. As a result the secular fabric of the country is shaken and people find each other at loggerheads. Concerted efforts have been made from time to time by individuals and organizations to ensure amity and bonhomie among its citizens. Somehow the end result of such efforts has not borne fruit. But there is always hope, a hope for the better.
One such endeavour in this direction to promote peace and brotherhood among all Indians is the “Walk of Hope”, a countrywide initiative aimed at creating inter-faith harmony and promotes peace among the citizens of this country. This ambitious and challenging journey is organised by Manav Ekta Mission under the aegis of Satsang Foundation established by Sri M. The Walk of Hope is an exercise to restore the innate spirituality of the nation—rekindling true faith and rejuvenating the spirit of hope, love, peace, harmony, and oneness.
Rejuvenated India for us and for posterity
As the title itself suggests this is a distinct programme a countrywide padyatra to cover over 6000 kms of distance from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. The Yatra which is now in its preparatory stage is spread over 18 months and in the course of its journey it would cross through 12 Indian states spreading the message of love, peace, harmony and brotherhood. The objective of the journey involves six spheres of human co-coexistence which are relevant to our country apart from restoring the rich culture and glory of this country and handover a restored nation to the generation next. These areas include interfaith harmony, equality for all, sustainable living, women empowerment community health and education and youth development – These factors are essential for restoring our country’s glory and pride and also to ensure everlasting peace and harmony in our multi-religious society.
The “Walk of Hope” is spearheaded by educationist and social reformer Sri M (Mumtaz Ali Khan) who is spreading the message of “Born human, Be human every step for humanity”. Through this Kanyakumari to Kashmir odyssey ‘Sri M’ as he is known to his followers and fans, wants to foster inter-community dialogue through community-wide events and discourses by enlightening people on the importance of fostering peace and harmony.
Incidentally, the yatra will be flagged off on the birthday of youth icon Swami Vivekananda on January 12, 2015. Vivekananda was a great prophet of interfaith harmony and it augurs well that this programme kicks off on his birthday. The journey of Walk of Hope would take about 450 days to complete covering roughly about 15 to 20 kms everyday. During this 6000 kms long journey the padayatris plan to reach out to more than 10 million people from across the length and breadth of the country spreading the message of love, peace, warmth and concern for humanity.
The journey will start from Gandhi Memorial Mandapam in Kanyakumari and will cover the entire state of Kerala before entering Karnataka. In Karnataka it will cover Mysore, Mandya, Bangalore, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Hubli and Belgaum. From Belgaum it will pass through states like Maharashtra, Gujarath, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh and finally enter Jammu and Kashmir to culminate in Srinagar.
To be or not to be
A noteworthy feature of this yatra is that responsible denizens of the country, who want to foresee a united, inclusive and rejuvenated India not only for them but also for the future generations, have decided to come together and extend their wholehearted support for this initiative and join hands with Sri M in his noble endeavour. The remaining time in the evenings will be utilised for meeting local people and also staying with them apart from exchanging dialogues, community prayers and having food together to strengthen unity. “This yatra will help people to know the true meaning of eating and staying together irrespective of caste, creed, race and religion. This is a golden opportunity for people to be a part of this journey and savour those finer moments which come but rarely”, says Sumati Mohan one of the route coordinators for the journey in Bangalore. The husband-wife duo Mohan Kumar and Sumati Mohan are responsible for the route in Bangalore from Ramanagara to Kanakapura.
In Bangalore the journey has a three-day schedule walking through Kanakapura Road covering Sumanahalli Cross, Bannerghatta Road and entering the city before finishing at Freedom Park.
“The beauty of the yatra is that while it is not possible for many people to be a part of the long odyssey lasting 450 days even if they want to, those who want to take part in this unique initiative can join and drop the yatra any time depending on their convenience”, says Narasimha Murthy, who has volunteered to be a part of the yatra.
A dedicated group of volunteers have already started working mounting multi-media awareness campaign for this initiative to elicit maximum response and participation so that the yatra is able to fulfil its original objectives. Let us hope people who really want to see India regain its glory would take part in this campaign in large numbers and make a success of this noble initiative.