Six thousand kilometers, nine states and 14 months untill now, social reformer Sri M’s Walk of Hope to spread the message of harmony and peace is bringing together people from all walks of life.
Founder of Manav Ekta Mission, spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist, Sri M’s Walk of Hope began in Kanyakumari on January 12, 2015, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, and will conclude in Srinagar in May, reaching out to 10 million people en route.
Sri M said: “Our journey is for integration, for we believe it’s the people, irrespective of their faiths, who want to hold hands and live in peace. Humanity is one and the need of the hour is to nurture every human being with love.”
The reformer is in Chandigarh till Saturday for the city’s leg of the walk, before moving on to Punjab. Accompanied by a group of 70, many people are joining the walk in every state.
“We make sure we involve students, for we are a nation of the young and they are our future. We are sowing seeds, these will take time to grow. We have to nurture these,’’ said Sri M, who travelled to the Himalayas at the age of 19.
He had also penned an autobiography, “Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master, a Yogi’s Autobiography”.
Sri M added that India is unique in every way with so many different languages, religions, faiths making the cultural fabric of the country. “We cannot disintegrate. A country like ours has to be united and I believe communal riots and disturbances are a result of selfish motives. Our initiative has made us realise that people want peace in their lives. A difference of opinion is understandable, after all, we are a democracy. But most important is ahimsa and it’s practical and possible to embrace with love,” he said.
These issues, said Sri M, had been worrying him for years. On his visit to Kanyakumari, he found the strength to begin this journey. “I was 63 then and thought if I don’t do it now, I never will. My team took three years to prepare for this walk, decide the states, the routes we are going to take and here we are. If there is inspiration, no obstacles can stop you. Once there are no vested and political interests, there is hope of achieving something,” said Sri M.
The reformer hopes to write a book on this journey once he is back home in the hope it will be useful to people and also develop strategies and a chain of people who can take this initiative forward and work on the walk’s impact.
The Walk of Hope began on Friday from Nadha Sahib and concluded at Mansa Devi Mandir.
On Saturday, it will start from 6am from the Garden of Silence and conclude at the Department of Gandhian Studies, Panjab University.
In the evening, a civic reception will be accorded to Sri M at Moti Ram Arya, Sector 27.