Our Campaign in the Media
"I have been covering Indo-Pak relations for 20 years. It is an 'evergreen' topic for us; people always want to read about it. This is the most interesting initiative in Indo-Pak peace in my memory." -- overheard from a journalist at our Bombay event
If you're interested in catching some of the buzz in the press about Friends Without Borders, then you've come to the right place!
If you are a journalist, please visit our Press Room.
The media coverage of our efforts has been extraordinary - most stories inaccurate here or there, but extraordinary. Below is just a small sampling of some of the articles - most of which have appeared online. The majority of the published stories are either not in English or haven't made it online.
- Desicritics.org (Bangalore) - April 20th, 2007 - Sixty years and three generations after Independence, India and Pakistan have never jointly celebrated the seminal political event that gave birth to both nations. This year, all that will change.
- CNN-IBN (Amritsar) - April 11th, 2006 - After delivering the message of love to Pakistan from the Indian children, the volunteers of Friends Without Borders are back with a special reply.
- Times of India (Delhi) - April 11th, 2006 - "The infrastructure is now in place to keep this movement expanding. As more schools throughout both countries participate, the world will gradually become a safer and friendlier home. Every letter brings us closer," he added.
- Outlook India (Islamabad) - April 5th, 2006 - Carrying placards with slogans of Indo-Pak friendship, thousands of Pakistani school children who received the world's "largest love letter" with messages of peace and harmony from their Indian peers reciprocated the gesture by signing its golden strip.
- Daily Times (Lahore) - April 5th, 2006 - “I think this is the best gift from India and hope that we can get more and more signatures and letters to show how much love we have for our Indian brothers and sisters,” said Aaliya Durrani, a student from Lahore Grammar School.
- One World (South Asia) - April 5th, 2006 - German Ambassador to Pakistan Gunter Mulack said the idea to promote peace through children was unique. “Neighbours cannot remain hostile towards each other for long. France and Germany were once enemies but now they are friends,” he said.
- Daily Times (Karachi) - March 28th, 2006 - Friends Without Borders (FWB), a forum to ease tensions and resolve conflicts across the world, is working to defuse disputes between Pakistan and India by increasing friendship between the children of Pakistan with the children of India through letter writing. It has opened an office in Lahore.
- The Dawn (Karachi) - March 27th, 2006 - Attempting to prove the worth of ‘law of love’ in international affairs, a group of young people participating in the World Social Forum are hoping to generate a befitting response here to the largest ever love letter
- DailyIndia.com - March 26th, 2006 - 'In India, we used to involve children of all backgrounds, whether rich or poor, in our campaigns. The strategy in Pakistan will be no different,' he said, adding that they had recruited 24 volunteers within a day, and the number was increasing by the hour.
- Daily Times (Lahore) - March 26th, 2006 - Jacobs dismissed claims that Indian schoolchildren had been denied visas to attend the event here. “There is no such problem. In fact, the children there are busy taking examinations, which is why we don't want to call them and are involving children here,” he said.
- NewKerala.com (Kerala) - March 26th, 2006 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has commended an organisation's efforts to encourage the children of India and Pakistan to write letters of friendship to each other.
- Press Information Bureau - March 25th, 2006 - Dr. Singh described this as a beautiful event, being led by the children of both countries. It has very positive ramifications for the future of both nations, once this generation of children grows up and takes on the reins of leadership in both countries.
- Daily Times (Lahore) - March 25th, 2006 - Amir Rafiq, president of ‘Friends Without Borders’ in Pakistan, said that the letter would be handed over to the representatives of Pakistani schoolchildren at Gaddafi Stadium on April 4, adding that a reply campaign would be initiated in Pakistani schools to continue the process.
- Times of India (Delhi) - March 25th, 2006 - It was their labour of love for the world's largest love letter. About 45 porters gave up some 10% of their day's earnings to carry the letter over the 250 metre-stretch ahead of the Indo-Pak border at Wagah.
- Times of India (Delhi) - March 23rd, 2006 - "The moment we would enter a class and ask, 'how many of you want to have a friend in Pakistan?' the hands would just shoot up. Even now when the letters are finally going, we have been flooded with requests from students asking us to talk to their teachers to ensure that they can come at least till Wagah," Silliphant said.
- Times of India (Delhi) - March 22nd, 2006 - It's also about 12 freedom fighters at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, who have put their hearts into letters to freedom fighters in Pakistan and to president Musharraf.
- Indian Catholic (Amritsar) - March 21, 2006 - The students begun their march on foot to Lahore on Monday. “We are excited that we are traveling to Pakistan. Our letters are all about what we genuinely feel about peace and our views about peace and harmony,” Shikha, a student said.
- NewKerala.com (Kerala) - March 21, 2006 - Young and enthusiastic peace lovers vowed for harmony across the border as they lighted candles and sang at the Jallianwala Bagh site in the city, which witnessed one of the worst massacres in 1919 during the British rule in undivided India.
- The Hindu (Delhi) - March 17, 2006 - The group left the capital on Thursday on special trucks to Amritsar. Reaching there on March 20, the children will walk across to Lahore carrying the `gigantic gift of love' from India to the children of Pakistan.
- Indian Express (Ahmedabad) - February 26th, 2006 - It's a concerted effort aimed at strengthening ties and blurring boundaries between India and Pakistan. School children from all across the country have pitched in their creative best to extend a friendly handshake with their ‘friends beyond boundaries.'
- Hindustan Times (Mumbai) - February 20th, 2006 - The event organised by 'Friends without Borders' aims to spread communal harmony in India and Pakistan through the longest love letter, from Indian children to their Pakistani counterparts. The letter measures 240 by 360 feet (73 by 110 metres).
- DNA (Mumbai) - February 19th, 2006 - A host of new and unknown friendships were struck at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday morning as nearly 3,000 children from 45 schools in Mumbai came together to broker peace between India and Pakistan .
- Bombay First - Afternoon - February 16th, 2006 - It's not just politicians, cricketers and filmstars who are engaged in bridging the gap between India and Pakistan, but even the children are doing their bit. Throughout India, children are writing letters of friendship to children in Pakistan.
- DNA (Mumbai) - February 16th, 2006 - "But what's really interesting is that over 100 schools have participated. We would love to grab the attention of every child in Mumbai and ask them to write one love message to children across the border. We want the children from both the countries to remain in touch thereafter,” he adds.
- Hindustan Times (Mumbai) - January 31, 2006 - As India and Pakistan battle it out on the cricket field, a few people are busy exchanging love across the border. A group called "Friends Without Borders" is carrying a gigantic (about 110 by 74 metres) friendship letter through various cities of the country and will finally take it to Pakistan.
- CNN-IBN - January 17, 2006 - No political dialogue or bilateral talks can be as strong as what these messengers of peace have given today.
- Asian Age (Mumbai) - January 17, 2006 - A carnival like atmosphere pervaded as the children put their pens to the tarpaulin writing messages of love and peace. In the process, they were writing what the organisers, Friends Without Borders claim, is the "world's largest letter" to be sent to Pakistan.
- India Infoline - January 17, 2006 - Behind this enormous letter was an even more impressive campaign, one poised to bring lasting change. Throughout India, children have been writing letters and creating artwork expressing friendship for their counterparts in Pakistan.
- The Hindu (Bangalore) - January 17, 2006 - `The world's largest letter' was created at the Chinnaswamy cricket stadium in Bangalore on Monday. It was done by schoolchildren with artist John Devaraj from the Born Free Art School.
- Rediff.com Feature Story - January 11, 2006 - Imagine. A gigantic letter -- 240 by 360 feet, to be exact -- signed by thousands of Indian schoolchildren, to their friends across the border in Pakistan. With the message of love, peace and brotherhood.
- Site Screen - January 2, 2006 - On 16 January 2006, as the opening test at Lahore is beginning its fourth day, another event of real significance to Indian-Pakistani relations will be occurring at a world-renown cricket venue. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore will host the unveiling of the worlds largest letter, a letter of peace and friendship. The text of the letter is simple. In Hindi, Urdu, and English, it will read: "To the Children of Pakistan, Let's all join hands in friendship. Together we can make a better world. The Children of India."
- Housecalls Magazine (India) - November - December 2005 - Where others come to receive from Indian culture and philosophy, John Silliphant and Mark Peters have wanted to give back to the country. To this effect they have swept the streets of Ahmedabad and are now working on a project that will help exchange letters written by children between India and Pakistan to forge bridges of friendship!
- NDTV (New Delhi) - October 2, 2005 - But the most interesting part is that the letters will be carried across the border by two Americans, Mark and John who have already collected over 15,000 such letters from different parts of the country.
- Times of India (New Delhi) - October 2, 2005 - It all started when Mark Peters and John Silliphant, two young Americans with a mission, came to India in February. ‘‘We had a dream: to give this country, which has given so much to the world, something in return. What better way than to spread the message of peace between India and Pakistan,'' says John.
- Times of India (Chandigarh/Delhi) - September 2, 2005 - We traveled by bike across town with many inspiring local hosts, and went from school to school, meeting with thousands of students, and dozens of enthusiastic teachers and principals. Again, we have been greeted with nothing but warm and overflowing hospitality everywhere we have gone.
- The Tribune (Chandigarh) - September 1, 2005 - Even in their interaction with students, they present them with an opportunity to serve as direct links in this chain of world peace. By allowing students to write letters of friendship, love and peace to their fellow students in Pakistan , they help them dwell on thoughts that are positive and facilitating.
- Times of India (Chandigarh/Delhi) - September 1, 2005 - “It's a great exercise for every child who participates. The more letters they receive, the greater the message will be felt and if it reaches critical mass, it will become a historical event and could trigger similar campaigns in other places...”
- The Indian Express - (Chandigarh) - September 1, 2005 - It's been the whole world's mission and so it really didn't suprise us when two more jumped on to the Indo-Pak peace bandwagon, got down to collecting peace postcards, and are all set to deliver the same across the border.
- The Times of India (Ahmedabad) - August 16, 2005 - "Two of a Kind" - Mark and John -- the American duo who have made headlines with their charitable work in the state over the last six months, now embark on a mission to Pakistan -- carrying the message of universal brotherhood
- Times of India (Ahmedabad), April 12, 2005 - "Deadly Duo" - Men on a mission - Two young Americans are in Gujarat, along with their friends, cleaning streets, spreading awareness about sanitation and bringing a smile on poor men's faces.