Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), September 24:-Carrying messages of non-violence and peace, 200 tribal and Dalit activists, writers, thinkers and eminent Gandhians will begin a year-long march from New Delhi to Geneva on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on October 2.
The 15,000 km JaiJagat 2020 (Hail World) ‘yatra’ will wind its way through 10 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Iran, Senegal, Sweden and Belgium, and will be joined by parallel groups of marchers, including foreign delegates, en-route, said Aneesh Thillenkery, national convenor of the Ekta Parishad.
The initial plan, formulated three years ago, also included a two-month stay in Pakistan, but tension between the two countries forced the organisers to shelve it, he said.
“The plan included a march from Raj Ghat to the Attari-Wagah border, then to Lahore and thereafter Iran. Now the Attari-Wagah border is sealed. So, that’s not happening,” Thillenkery said.
The one-year march will be led by social worker P V Rajagopal, Gandhian scholar and Canadian leader Jill Carr-Harris and Dalit and tribal rights activist Ramesh Sharma among others, he said.
The group will walk from Delhi to Sevagram in Maharashtra where Mahatma Gandhi had set up his ashram and fly from Nagpur to Iran. From there, the yatra will proceed to Armenia and onwards.
“A man came to our non-violence training from Armenia a few years ago. He took the message of Gandhiji back to his country and worked on principles of non-violence. He (Nikol Pashinyan) is the prime minister of Armenia now,” Thillenkery said.
Along the route, local committees will organise daily events and non-violence training to prepare peace-builders, Thillenkery said.
The yatra will reach Geneva by September 26 next year.
Municipalities of the Canton of Geneva have already passed a resolution to host the marchers. A group of 30 municipality members will welcome the marchers, he said.
About 5,000 people from across the globe will participate in a one-week global action forum will be organised in Geneva to deliberate with United Nations’ agencies and like-minded organisations on poverty, social exclusion, climate crisis, and non-violence.
The participants will demand that peace and non-violence be brought under the ambit of sustainable development goals, Thillenkery said.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)