The walkers encountered small hamlets here and there but no large town as they took a detour from NH8 and walked on NH 228. This was a welcome change as the road was somewhat peaceful - although it did have many a passing automobile; and the traffic was not as dense as NH8. Another welcome difference was beautiful giant neem trees lined the road and walking down these roads was indeed a pleasing experience. They spotted peacocks in many places. Breakfast was in a serene setting – seated on charpoys under glades of green.
NH228 follows the Dandi route, the same road where Mahatma Gandhi, along with many others, walked for a cause just like Walk of Hope. The Dandi March began in 1930 on 12th of March and was an important event of the Indian independence movement. It was a non-violent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India and triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement. Mahatma Gandhi led the Dandi march from his base, the Sabarmati Ashram, to the coastal village of Dandi. As he continued on this 24-day, 240-mile march to produce salt without paying the tax, growing numbers of people joined him along the way.When he broke the salt laws, it sparked large-scale acts of civil disobedience by millions of Indians.The campaign resulted in large numbers of Indians joining the fight for the first time.
In Gujarat, since Walk of Hope came down the hilly regions, the padayatris have been walking along major highways. They have seen a great deal of contrast in these lands where industrial empires worth billions of rupees flourish and expand in lands where people live in simple mud-brick homes. There is a lot of development and great economic variety here;one can find all kinds of industries - from simple farms to high-tech,world-class aerospace industries. They have also seen people living frugally off the land with just the basic amenities!
The walkers have witnessed hundreds of homes and their inhabitants going about their daily lives. The land is soaked in many colours; the vibrancy and resilience of the people here are tangible. The saris women wear, the walls of their homes, the turbans that adorn the men - articles of daily life that make up the fabric of life here - all of these are alive with colour! People here definitely do not shy away from lavishly sporting colours. Reds, blues,greens and every hue in between – every shade is present in plenty!!