The Delhi team officially welcomes Sri M to Delhi - Aravalli Bio-Diversity Park
Father Arul Antony offers prayers before the start of the day's walk - Aravalli Bio-Diversity Park
Students of Akshay Pratishtan School join the walk - Aravalli Bio- Diversity Park
WOH Day 402 - Aravalli Bio-Diversity Park
Union Cabinet Minister Maneka Gandhi joins the Walk - Arjangarh
Sri M welcomes Inion Minister Ravishankar Prasad to the Walk - Ghitorni
HE Tai Situpa Rinpoche welcomes Sri M to Zorba
A Royal Tilak as Sri M enters Zorba
The music group Vocal Rasta performs at Zorba
Sri M felicitated by the Rajmata of Jaisalmer - Zorba
Sri M responds to the warm welcome at Zorba
Today was a relatively short affair but it featured Walk of Hope's official entry into Delhi. The walk started at Aravalli Biodiversity park which is an initiative by like-minded people and institutions to conserve the flora of the portion of the Aravallis called the Delhi Ridge. The ridge contributes immensely to keeping the climate of Delhi moderate and also to making it the second most bird-rich capital in the world after Nairobi.
The day started with prayers by heads of various religions of Delhi. Robust 'Bhangra dancers' led the padayatris into Delhi. The walk went past several metro stations through which trains chugged along, efficiently and punctually. Surely, a matter of pride for all Indians giving us confidence that we can also build, run and maintain things at international standards.
The walk passed the Air Force station, Arjangarh on its way. It was the turn of students of Akshay Pratishtan School to accompany the yatra today.
Union Ministers Sri Ravishankar Prasad, Smt Maneka Gandhi and Special Commissioner of Police, Mr Ajay Singh, joined the walk despite the Parliament being in session a little later in the day.
The yatra ended at Zorba which was by now familiar territory for the yatris after the previous day's function. They could now appreciate it at a different angle, under bright sunlight. Sri M was welcomed by Tai Situpa Rinpoche and other dignitaries. Auspicious Nadaswaram was played in the background and girls dressed up in dance costumes and bearing placards for each state welcomed everybody. Shlokas from the Yajurveda were chanted as they walked in and all the padayatris were given a little bag of goodies and a scarf as a welcome gesture.
Noted personalities among the audience were Sufi singer Pir Shabda Khan, Sri Arif Mohammed, Sri Kartar Singh, Sri Sundar Ranwar, MLAs, the Imam of Jama Masjid, Rabbi Pamela Frydman from the United States and scions of many royal families.
In a classy function, a brief introduction was given about the historic city of Delhi and Sri M, the yatris and the dignitaries were warmly welcomed to the function. 'Vocal Rasta' the music group, sang a couple of full throated and catchy songs and young dancers from Father Agnall's school performed a Bharatanatyam number.
Sri M addressed the gathering and said, "We are accustomed to talk but when it comes to walk, it’s difficult. It's not easy to walk. An early morning walk is fine. We have gone through many difficulties and I really thank you from the bottom of my heart and appreciate the fact that you, cutting across barriers of state, language, even countries, have come to walk with us. It's been a wonderful experience. We have passed through difficult times, good times, various obstacles to be faced, rain, summer, winter, and when we reach Srinagar we might have another bout of cold, I'm not sure. Here we are, so this walk is a walk of bringing people together, which is the reason why we started from Kanyakumari – a confluence of three great oceans. And, from there, we've now walked 5,800 Km or more and reached here in Delhi. We hope to walk another 2000 Km before we enter Srinagar. All this I know is a streak of madness; but if insanity can help where sanity has not, then it's a good thing to be insane."
The evening's program was a visit to Bade Mandir, a Siva temple and Ashram of Guruji Nirmal Singh. Padayatris were treated to mellifluous Bhajans. Sri Pandav, National Co-ordinator of the Walk of Hope gave an introduction about the Guruji. The langar that followed gave many the unique experience of sitting face to face with a fellow yatri and sharing food from a 'Thali'. With that ended yet another day in the Capital, where a whirlwind of programmes and meetings have been scheduled for the next few days.