Walk of Hope in Auroville and the Bioregion
- walking together for Peace and Human Unity
on January 28th & 29th, 2018.
- spreading the message of oneness, inclusion and respect and (re-)connect as Aurovilians, and with our neighbours in the surrounding villages.
The Walk was led by Sri M, an eminent spiritual guide, educationist and social activist. Sri M became known for his Walk of Hope from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, over 7000 km through India in 2015-16.
The aim of the Walk was truly captured by an Aurovilian who wrote why she gave a donation:
"This will be an outstanding event. Small steps towards inner and outer unity. I believe as long as we are separated from our soul, we experience separation and will project this into our outer life. But we have to start at both ends, inside and in our environment!! So let's walk together and make a move (in both directions)".
On Sunday Jan 28th, 800 people -from the villages, Aurovilians, Newcomers, volunteers and guests- joined the walk from Irumbai Temple through Kottakarai/Bharatipuram, Auroville/Tibetan Pavilion, Edayanchavadi, and Kuilapalayam, where we ended at Aikiyam School. Sri M gave a short talk in Tamil and English and plant a tree at each stop at village/outreach schools where we were hosted by the villagers, by women groups and youth.
Simple meals, breakfast at Tibetan Pavilion and lunch at Aikiyam School, was offered to all. After lunch, a bus shuttle brought the participants back to their respective village.
The participation was extending our expectations, it was overwhelming to joyfully share this WALK OF HOPE.
On Monday Jan 29th, we walked from Auroville through Alankuppam, ending at the Mosque in Rayapettai. This time it was a more ‚intimate‘ event, with about 100 participants, among them many school kids. We were warmly received by the muslim community in the Rayapettai Mosque, where our beautiful interaction culminated in the Imam singing for us verses of the Quaran.
The WALK OF HOPE is the co-creation of the hosting team, "Restorative Auroville" (L'aura, Kati, Helene, Shanti and Janet), with Prisma (Franz), AVAG - Auroville Village Action Group (Moris), Aikiyam School (Shankar, headmaster), many other Aurovilians and volunteers.
The idea for a peace walk emerged from our projects like the FilmFest "Restoring Connection" and the Cross-Cultural Dialogue, where many shared a real longing to feel more unity among Aurovilians, and between Auroville and the bioregion. Several also expressed a real fear and concern that if we do not work on our relationship and collaboration with the neighbouring villages, we are risking our future. The spark for the WALK OF HOPE was inspired by the experiences of fellow Aurovilians who walked with Sri M to Kashmir.
We are happy that so many people followed our invitation for this activity; it appealed to all backgrounds, and language was not a barrier - hence, walking instead of talking - together and towards each other!