WOH Day 350 from Haripur to Sarai Inayat along NH2-Allahabad
Felicitation at Mahavir Institute of Technology - Sarai Inayat
It was a day Mother Nature decided to shake the padayatris out of their comfortable routine. The mercury dipped a couple of degrees and they had the first real taste of North Indian winter. The staff of Mahaveer Institute of Technology went out of their way to make things easier for the yatris by heating up water to bathe and lighting fires for them to warm themselves.
With the start of the walk pushed forward by a couple of hours, the yatris got ready after fortifying themselves with breakfast and several cups of hot tea.
The padayatra started from Gram Sachivalay Haripur and proceeded to Mahaveer Institute of Technology, the place of stay for the yatris. The route is a legend in itself – the Grand Trunk Road –one of the oldest roads of Asia, claiming more than 2000 years of existence. It connected Chittagong and Kabul once upon a time and was called 'Uttara Path' or the 'Northern Way'.
There were receptions along the way at Jagatpur and Hanumangunj before the walk culminated at MIT.
After felicitations, Sri M addressed the gathering of the public, trustees and staff of MIT. He thanked the MIT trustees, principal and staff for the warm welcome and also for taking care of the padayatris' accommodation. He explained the reason why the padayatra was flagged off from Kanyakumari on the 12th January – drawing attention to the 'sangam’ of three oceans and the greatness of Swami Vivekananda. He also told the gathering that the yatra covers 15 to 20 km every day – stopping at villages, towns and cities while interacting with people of all walks of life. Having covered more than 5000 km and 6 states, the yatra has reached Uttar Pradesh; with 3000 km to go, before it winds up in Srinagar in May 2016. He said that the message of the yatra was centuries old: irrespective of religion, caste, colour and creed, there is a part of the omnipresent divine in each human being. That being so, all humans are verily temples worthy of worship.
Sri M noted the absence of students as it was a Sunday. He said he would have loved to plant a seed of peace and harmony in each one of them – seeds which would slowly germinate and grow into magnificent trees in due course of time. He would have told them to stick together, irrespective of differences and to abhor violence at all costs. He also reminded the gathering that it was his fervent wish that this message of peace should emanate from India to the outside world. He requested those who could not join the walk physically, to keep the padayatra and its message in their hearts so that the yatra would be a sure success. He ended telling that he didn't want to talk more as he firmly believed that his walk was his talk.