Day 363 | 9 January 2016 | From Nanarao Park to JK temple | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Warm welcome at Shahid Smriti Sthal - Kanpur
  • Sri M paying homage to the martyrs at Shahid Sthal - Kanpur
  • A floral tribute to the father of the nation as the padayatra sets off the day - Kanpur
  • 8.A-very-
  • Sri M inside Baba Nageshwar Mandir - Birhana
  • Garlanding the Bharat Mata statue - Ghantaghar
  • Sri M inside the Gurudwara Sri Gurusingh Sabha - Meston Road
  • Reception at Masjid Machli Bazar - Meston Road
  • Sri M in prayer inside the Masjid Machli Bazar -Meston Road
  • 16.A-
  • Sri M with the clergy of Christ Church - Kanpur
  • Sri M in prayer with the Holy Bible in hand - Christ Church Kanpur
  • The Holy Mass in progress in the 180-year old Christ Church
  • Sri M during his address at Christ Church
  • Reception as the yatra neared lal Imli Chouraha - Kanpur
  • Reception by Bajaria Shanti Samithi - Rambagh
  • Reception near Kali mata Mandir - Ashoknagar
  • Sri M inside the Gurudwara Sahib - Kirtangadji Gumti
  • Reception at JK temple - Kanpur
  • The impressive JK temple - Kanpur
The padayatris bid adieu to Axis College after breakfast. It was definitely one of the most pleasant of their stays during the yatra. The staff of the college really went out of the way to ensure that every aspect of their stay was taken care of from providing hot water to bathe, comfortable beds to sleep, delicious food and unconditional affection.

The Journal Of Hope Archive

A patriotic song and an effervescent group dance set the tone for the Kanpur city walk at Nanarao Park where joggers, walkers and children had come for their morning workout and games. Two of these bystanders, girls taking a break from their early morning engineering coaching class ended up walking the entire distance of the walk. The padayatra left the Nanarao Park after paying homage to the martyrs at the Shahid Smriti Sthal. Sri M also garlanded the Mahatma Gandhi Statue, minutes after leaving the park. The walk passed through two distinct areas of this very old city of Kanpur, formerly called 'Cawnpore' by the British. One was the modern phase with shopping malls, broad roads, traffic lights and the like; the other, the old city, once called the 'Manchester of the East'. The 'Lal imli', where the textile business was concentrated, looked like a ghost town now. Centuries old buildings were seen jostling for space between concrete monsters as the yatra meandered through. This in short, is the story of all old cities of India. For several reasons, we are unable to guard our heritage sites and buildings, nor are we able to prevent rampant, unplanned expansion of these cities. Today, the yatra got to visit temples, the biggest mosque in Kanpur, the 180 year old Christ Church, two major Gurudwaras and the famous JK temple. The traffic police left nothing to chance and completely cordoned off the half of the road the padayatra was walking. There were endless receptions, hundreds of garlands, guns to spray flower petals and thousands of locals lining the streets to greet the 'sant' walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir for peace. Once again, the yatris got a taste of 'makhan malai'. They also could enjoy the Punjabi staple viz. Makhi ki Roti & Sarsong ka Sag at the Gurudwara Sahib Kirtangadji. The visit to the 180 year old Christ Church was another memorable event. The service, prayers for the successful completion of the yatra and Sri M's address made it all the more so. Remembering the 'Parivrajaka' (wanderer) who walked in Jerusalem a thousand years ago, Sri M said, "I'm not comparing myself with him but Jesus said, 'Foxes have dens and snakes have holes and the son of man has nowhere to lay his head', he said this because he was at home everywhere he went. He was a Sant, a parivrajak. I like the sermon on the mount the most where Jesus says, 'Bless them that curse you', very difficult to do. 'Do good to them that hate you', if we can't do good at least we must be able to forgive. And he also said, 'Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of god'. This is also our motto, to establish peace everywhere we go." Seeing the saying 'I'm the alpha and the omega' written on the walls of the church, Sri M said, "it's something to think about. Like 'Om' is made up of 'Au' and 'M', there is alpha and omega. We have to read our respective religious texts properly, because peace is the common message in all. Spread this message of peace in your neighbourhood and we'll consider our yatra to be a success. Thanks for inviting us to this church, where we could sit here in such peace." The yatra terminated at JK temple, a place where the Singhania group grew to become India's third biggest business conglomerate after the Tatas and Birlas in the 1970s. The lunch served was a gastronomic delight. The yatris then left to Ramlila Society, Parade, their place of stay for the next 4 days.

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