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The Walk of Hope, a 6,000-km journey for inter-faith harmony

Rasheed Kappan, June 5, 2014, DHNS: 1:50 IST
To ensure that Bangalore never returns to those days of despair,

Umpteen times in the past, the City’s communal hotspots had exploded in violent animosity.

Triggered by mundane sparks of mischief, the riots had gripped the City fuelling anger, fear and deep divisions.

To ensure that Bangalore never returns to those days of despair, “The Walk of Hope,” a unique, countrywide, crowd-sourced yatra will touch down in the City as part of its ambitious 6,000-km journey from Kanyakumari to Srinagar.

Holding aloft the message of inter-faith harmony, the elaborate, 18-month Walk through 12 states is still in its preparatory mode.

But the network of volunteers across the country has already switched to top gear, launching social media campaigns and awareness programmes.

Led by educationist and social reformer, Sri M (Mumtaz Ali Khan), the Walk will emphasise on enabling and nurturing dialogues between communities, regardless of their faith, through education, advocacy and community-wide events.

Bangalore agenda

The Walk’s three-day Bangalore agenda is clear: A session with students of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), meetings with different community heads to boost inter-faith dialogue and peace, walks through Kanakapura Road, Sumanahalli Cross, Bannerghatta Road and the city proper before a culminating session at the Freedom Park.

Kicking off on January 12, the Walk of an estimated 35 to 50 volunteers regardless of political, religious and idealogical differences, will cover entire Kerala before entering Karnataka.

In its journey through the State, the padayatra will touch towns, villages and local communities in Mysore, Mandya, Bangalore, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Hubli and Belgaum.

Thereafter, it will pass through Maharashtra, Gujarat (Godhra included), Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and enter Jammu & Kashmir in its final leg.

The padayatra, as Sri M and volunteers explained to Deccan Herald, will cover 15-20 kms a day and halt in the evening at a pre-determined village or town en route.

“The evening will be spent meeting with the local populace - which will include meaningful dialogues, inter-faith prayers, eating together, and finally, resting overnight at their homes,” said a volunteer.

Once the Walk passes, another volunteer group will continue to do the peace followup programmes. More details on the walk could be accessed online at (www.walkofhope.in)

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