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In this fast paced and materialist era, the ideologies of ‘non-violence’ and ‘peace’ that Gandhi stood for are fading. Violence is increasingly normalized which is visible from the temples built for Ghodse, Gandhi’s assassin; glorifying his actions. On 30th January we observe Martyrs’ day, in memory of Gandhi’s assassination.

Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS), in association with the students of Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management (UPGCM) organized a Peace Walk covering a stretch of 6km from Carter Road, Bandra to Linking Road, Khar. The main objective of the walk was to spread the beliefs of peace, tolerance, non-violence and communal harmony – the most cherished values of Gandhi, amongst the youth.

Around 30 participants had joined the Peace Walk of which 16 volunteers were from the NSS Unit of UPG College. Few activists working on peace and other issues also joined the walk. All the participants were carrying placards that portrayed famous quotes of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Sant Kabir and many other thought invoking messages.

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The rally commenced with a song “Ruke Na Hum Jhuke Na Hum” which filled the participants with a sense of national integrity and increased the enthusiasm tenfold. The volunteers, walking silently with banners and posters garnered the interest of pedestrians.

A few enthusiasts took time out of their jogging routine to be a part of the walk. The participants clad in white attracted curious gazes from bystanders. Intrigued by the quotes on placards, the people inquisitively approached volunteers to know more about the Peace walk. A gentleman directed a salute towards the participants further motivating them. Witnessing the volunteers march on, people greeted them with encouraging smiles.

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It was heart-warming to witness the participants coming together from different walks of life to spread the message of peace and unity. It was rewarding to see how they took time out from their schedule to support the initiative and spread the ideology of harmony. “It is a great initiative that CSSS has taken for reinstating the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi. It felt really good to be a part of it,” said one of the participants who joined along. Many bystanders asked CSSS about its initiatives and events they organize.

After completing a 6km long walk in the winter sun, everyone was filled with a sense of fulfillment. The rally ended with the volunteers taking a pledge to instill the values of peace and harmony within themselves and also spread the message for the same.

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This event generated interest, curiosity and restated the values of Gandhi.