Swachch Bharat Abhiyan at the the Bus Depot - Jhabua
Padaytris & the Municipal staff work shoulder-t-shoulder in the day's effort - Jhabua
In tribal attire, Sri M takes aim - Jhabua
Sri M performs Aarti -Jhabua
Today was a day of rest for the Walk of Hope padayatris and the day was filled with events.
In the morning, a group of padayatris - along with Sri M -gathered at the bus stop and cleaned it thoroughly. The bus stop was a particularly dirty place in the city and the Padayatris had a difficult job on their hands. It took them two hours but they cleaned the whole bus stop.
Many of those who were passing by stopped and looked on in amazement at the strange sight. It is likely that most of them had never seen a group comprising of – young and old men and women from different states, speaking different languages and wearing different attires and even a few from foreign lands – collectively cleaning the bus stop. Many local vendors, shop owners and residents also joined in enthusiastically and promised to maintain the cleanliness. The Municipal Corporation also joined hands with the padayatris and helped along.
After a short break, Sri M and the padayatris visited a Ganesha Temple and Sri M performed Aarti there. In the evening, the Yatris gathered at the Jhabua Palace Gardens – their favorite haunt for the last few days - for a cultural evening. There were music and dance performances by groups of children from different schools of Jhabua. The onlookers watched the performances in rapt attention. Sri M interacted with the local tribals briefly before the program concluded.
The people here are very warm and have received the padayatra with open arms. Everyday, many people from small villages join and walk with the padayatra; sometimes, there are more than a hundred of them. Leaving behind their daily lives, they join and walk with the regular walkers, who in turn are very grateful and enjoy their company.
In Gujarat, the yatris were quite taken in by the intense hospitality of the people. People of Madhya Pradesh are no less; they have opened their homes and hearts. The food too is extraordinary but very different from Gujarati food. For those who have walked for a long time with Walk of Hope, this is one of the fringe benefits - they get to explore authentic Indian cuisines.It is possible nowhere else. Every hundred kilometers, the flavour of food changes and, every week, the cuisine itself changes.