Day 431 | 17 March 2016 | Ambala City Walk | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Reception at start point - Ambala
    1.Reception-at-start-point,-Ambala,-Haryana
  • Reception by the Youth community - Model Town Ambala
    2.Reception-by-youngsters,-Model-Town,-Ambala,-Haryana
  • WOH Day 431 - Ambala City Walk - Sector 9
    3.WOH-Day-431,-Ambala-City-Walk,-Sector-9,-Ambala,-Haryana
  • The Padayatra nears Manav Chowk - Ambala City
    4.The-Padayatra-nears-Manav-Chowk,-Ambala-City,-Haryana
  • 5.Yes,-now-we-know-how-hotel-towels-are-dried!,-Ambala-City,-Haryana
  • Satsang at Govt Polytechnic - Ambala
    6.Satsang-at-Govt-Polytechnic,-Ambala-City,-Haryana
  • Interfaith program at Valmiki Dharmashala - Bapudham Colony
    7.Interfaith-Program--at-Valmiki-Dharmashala,-Bapudham-Colony,-Chandigarh
  • Sri M with children at Bapudham Colony
    8.Sri-M-with-the-future-of-India,-Bapudham-Colony,-Chandigarh
Sri M addressed the staff and students of Govt Polytechnic, Ambala. He thanked all and said, "I won't speak much because our walk is our talk since today's fashion is such that we talk a lot but don't do much. So, we thought we would do the work and show the world. I'm 67 years old but that's the age of my body. I don't think the mind ever gets old if it is kept active. If activity gets over then even the mind gets old. Do I look tired to you? We haven't had breakfast yet and we've come walking. How are we doing this? All one needs is inspiration. When something inspires us and gives us courage, great work happens. Someone has already labelled me as mad a few times for walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. But as you can see we've covered a major part of our journey. We have just 54 more days to go."

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Sri M then gave a few details about the yatra (journey) and went on to spell its objectives. He said, "You must be wondering why people would take such trouble to walk. But before that I would like to inform you that I'm not looking to get into politics. If I did, I'd have got into it long back. This is a walk for human beings for unity." Sri M continued to list out all the factors that make India unique, its diversity etc and said, "We are saying that if there's a democracy, there are bound to be differences, but dialogue is important. There's no need for violence." "Women play a very important role in society. Be it a boy or a girl, the mother plays a very important role in one's formative years. When we hoist the tri-colour, we say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' not 'Bharat Pita Ki Jai'. The mother has been given such importance in this country. We worship the feminine or shakti. So women's empowerment is not something new. I'm saying we should not forget it. If this doesn't happen, the country won't progress. When Vivekananda went to America and saw how the women there are so much ahead, he said when the same happens in India is when the country will succeed." "If something good needs to be shared with people, padayatra (journey on foot) is a useful tool. Today if I ask my driver to get something, he asks if he can take the car. I request you to practise walking. Milkha Singh runs even today. So padayatra is good for physical fitness as well, and mental well-being as well", he said and continued to explain why he likes it when people call him Sri M as M stands for Manav and beyond all other identities, he prefers to be known as a Manav or a Human Being. The evening's interfaith program was at Valmiki Dharmashala, Bapudham Colony. A very notable remark came from the representative of Islam who said, "Allah has made different kinds of people belonging to different religions, because he wants to see if everyone can live together despite the differences. I pray that this mission proceeds towards truth and humanity." In his address, Sri M said, "Everywhere we go, we try to talk to people, especially to kids and students, men, women, everyone. We go into big towns and small villages. Every state we've visited, the Chief Ministers have met us. We've met the President as well. But I would like to tell you that the main thing is in your hands. Because if we sow these seeds in your hearts, it will definitely grow into a big tree, sooner or later. This isn't just about one religion, it's about every religion." "Every religion talks about this but we forget it because of our own greed. I've come to tell you that we need to live together. We need to consider ourselves as human beings first and then as Indians because we live, eat, sleep and do everything on this land. We need to give it as much respect as we can", he said. Giving an example from the Walk, Sri M said, "In Delhi, we had gone to a Madrassa, and there was a Masjid attached to it. The Imam of that place asked me where we would go to next. I told him that we were going to visit a Gurudwara. He wanted to come along and I took him along. He told me that it was the first time that he was visiting a Gurudwara. It's customary to cover one's head in a Gurudwara but he already had his topi so he didn't have to put on anything extra. The people in the Gurudwara were happy to see him there. When they read the Granth, it said, 'Avval Allah Noor Upaaye, Kudarat Ke Sab Bandhe'. He asked me if they were reading the Quran or the Granth because he heard them say 'Allah'. I told him that it was Kabir. We just need to open our eyes and see who lives in our neighbourhood and how they live, what they read. This helps open our minds. It's my belief that anywhere when there's a need for a teacher, God sends a Nabi. Wherever they appeared, based on the geography and situation, a religion was born."

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