Delegates of the 10th Global Youth Peace Fest (GYPF) participated in ‘Be the Change Walkathon’, which was organised from the Open Hand Monument to the Parade Ground Friday. With delegates from 30 countries coming together for the walk, it marked the culmination of the festivities that began on September 29.
The walkathon was inaugurated by the acting Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar, in the presence of a host of judges and Bernie Meyer, the American Gandhi. Later, all the judges walked through the length of walkathon. Justice Surya Kant, Justice S S Saron, Justice A G Masiah, Justice Arun Palli, Justice Amit Rawal, Justice Ritu Bahari, Justice P B Bajanthri, Justice Jitender Chauhan, Justice T P S Mann, and Justice Remender Jain were present on the occasion. Aya Goto, International Vice-President of Global Piece Foundation, was the guest of honour.
The objective of the walkathon was to educate, inspire and empower individuals, communities and organisations to take action in the inter-connected areas of environmental sustainability, gender equality, social justice and world peace.
Shouting slogans like ‘We Want Peace’ and carrying flags and banners from their respective countries, the march was led by young people from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other countries. Matching their enthusiasm were school children from Chandigarh, who were seen carrying slogans such as ‘We want the earth to have peace and not go in pieces’, ‘Peace begins from within’, ‘No more wars’.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Suryakant said, “Despite the geographical and ethnic differences that exist between different communities, the one thing that binds them together is the hope of living in a peaceful and harmonious world, and such platforms help in rekindling hope and channelising their energies positively.”
Bernie Meyer, who is the ambassador of GYPF, said, “I was happy to be part of the walkathon on the birth anniversary of the great Mahatma,” adding that he hoped that the delegates of the fest would carry the messages of peace back home.