New Delhi, Feb 23: An ongoing pan-India padayatra to promote interfaith harmony today paid tributes to the soldiers of the country, as its volunteers and participants led by social reformer Sri M marched up today to the Amar Jawan Jyoti war memorial at India Gate in the capital.
Former Supreme Court chief justice M N Venkatachaliah and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium joined the ‘Walk of Hope’ during its stretch from India International Centre to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, hailing the 16-month mission from Kanyakumari to Kashmir as the need of the hour.
“The peace-spreading walk is something the country requires in our times, especially amidst the recent wave of turbulence,” said Padma Vibhushan Venkatachaliah, who is currently the Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh. “This is a ray of hope. I hope it will help heal the wound of divisiveness in our country.”
Subrahmanium, who is a senior advocate with the Supreme Court of India, termed the ‘Walk of Hope’ as a “very important” initiative by Sri M and his Manav Ekta Mission. “Hopefully, this will lay a new foundation for harmony in India,” he added.
The 67-year-old Sri M (born Mumtaz Ali Khan in Thiruvananthapuram) reiterated the need for dialogue to resolve differences between people.
The 7,500-km walk with 70 volunteers, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on January 12 last year, has been reaching out to millions of people, with Sri M meeting top administrators, influential leaders and the common people besides visiting religious places of various faiths and delivering public talks.
In his fortnight-long Delhi leg, slated to conclude on March 3, Sri M has already met President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and a few union ministers besides leaders of various religions and social organisations.
The Sringar-bound walk, which also hosts cultural evenings, will conclude after 500 days of journey in early May this year.
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