A delegation of five women from different parts of the globe has come to India to learn more about Gandhiji and his philosophy of non-violence. The initiative, in association with Ekta Parishad, will reach out to villagers across the country, including Bhopal, and hold cultural interactions with them.
On Monday, the ‘peace-builders’, led by Ekta Parishad national convenor Aneesh Thillenkery, met villagers in Raisen and Sehore, who resorted to non-violent movements to fight for their land rights.
One of the delegates, Diana from Georgia, said, “We came to the land of Gandhiji to learn more about his non-violence movement. On the first day, we met people from the Bheel community in Panjer Village in Raisen district. The villagers, who had once become landless, got 5 to 10 acres under Forest Right Act through a dialogue with the administration officials. We are happy to know that they won their rights. ”
In Bhuvan and Sarswati Uike villages, local residents told them about the troubles they had to put up with to save their land from acquisition. The ‘peace builders’ also met teacher-turned-politician Bheem Singh in Khandawgarh panchayat, Sehore district. Singh, who is a sarpanch of the village, explained to them what it takes to run local governance process peacefully.
Later in the day, the delegation held interactions with the residents of Mathar forest village, who gave them an idea about their culture and way of life. The youth in Barela also organised a cultural programme for the group.
Kalpana, a delegate from Nepal, enjoyed performing with the villagers. “We participated in the cultural programmes. We learned about the role of cultural interactions to ensure peace and harmony in the society across the globe,” she said.
Aneesh said, “The basic objective of the visit was to reinstate the concept of non-violence. In the interior areas of India, many peaceful movements, run by villagers, have turned out to be successful. Across the globe, too, many groups are working to spread peace. The group got to learn about the different methods we can adopt to fight for our case without resorting to non-violence.”
Summing up the entire experience in two lines, Roya from South Africa, said, “We had come here to participate in International Women’s Meet in Jalgaon and take an oath of non-violence. It turned out to be an unforgettable experience for us.”