Sri M arrived a little before the Padyaatris at Bharuhana and waited for them to assemble to take the oath before the Walk. The oath that is now read in Hindi, serves as a good reminder of personal discipline, commitment and togetherness for the walkers. As the walk gets closer to Varanasi, the temperature continues to drop. Layers of winter wear mufflers, sweaters and jackets that are increasing each day, have added a dash of colour to the white brigade. The only redeeming factor to the rather chilly mornings is the cup of chai that is now being served first thing in the morning, as a warm up for the walk.
With fewer local dignitaries joining in the walk in the morning, many Padyaatris got a chance to walk along with Sri M and exchange a few words with him. Since entering Uttar Pradesh, mustard fields, with their 'hint of yellow' flowers have become a common sight.
The walk stopped at many schools today, the first of which was the Pandit Mahadev Prasad Dubey Pre University College & School at Kotva. Sri M addressed the students of the school. He told them that the walk was a ‘Manav Ekta Yaatra’ (Journey of oneness of humanity). He said the yaatra (journey) started from Kanyakumari on the 12th January 2015. He continued "All along our route, we have visited small villages, towns and big cities. The aim of the walk is 'Ekta' (Unity). Everyday we walk 18-20 Km. We have all got used to this routine now that we feel uncomfortable on the very few days of rest when we do not walk!"
"Everywhere we go, we keep telling people that we all are human, irrespective of our caste, creed, colour, religion etc. We are all born of our mothers' wombs and will all be, going back into Mother Earth. During this brief interval between life and death there is no need for himsa (violence)".
"Let's come together first as human beings and also as Indians. Then, we will be able to strengthen India, and develop India. If you realize this, we feel our walk is a success. We are getting old and you will have to take charge of our country in future."
“I am only sowing a few seeds today. You need to water them and nurture them so that the seeds sprout, bloom into fruit bearing trees with lovely shade, sweet smelling flowers and juicy fruits which all Indians can enjoy. I want you to spread this message in your houses, neighborhood and village. Thank you ".
The Walk stopped at two other schools on the way before halting at Surabhi Sansthan for an outstanding lunch with local flavours. All kinds of fruit trees and vegetables are grown here using organic farming methods. Lunch comprised dishes made out of these farm fresh veggies, a gastronomic treat to the WOH team indeed.
Ladies were put up at the Surabhi Sansthan and men at the Sait Kishorilal Jalan Memorial School, a kilometer away. The effort put in by the organisers and school authorities to make the School comfortable enough for the Yaatris (travelers) to stay was very touching.