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H.B. KapadiaThis photo from H.B. Kapadia School was the inspiration for The World's Largest Love Letter.
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Americans on Cycles on Peace Mission

The Tribune – 1 September 2005

Two American followers of Gandhian values John Silliphant and Mark Peters are reaching out to students of various city schools and colleges on Greentire cycles.

Their mission is to strengthen bonds of peace and harmony between India and Pakistan , and they have all that's required to make friendly gestures – greetings, posters, letters, and drawings. They are still busy collecting peace messages from a cross section of society so they can present the same to people when they cross over to Pakistan .

John and Mark have gathered tens of thousands of letters from children all over India . The reception to this idea is universal: children are children and no matter where they live, they favour peace. Soon, John and Mark will walk into schools of Pakistan , carrying loads of cards filled with the most genuine good will remarks. “We hope to foster affection between people of the two nations,” they say.

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.

Both John and Mark feel, “The more the number of participating children, the better it will be for our mission. For children also, it is a great exercise and experience. Sitting here, they strike friendships that matter a lot in this strife torn world.”

Today, accompanied by volunteers of Yuvsatta who are promoting the campaign for peace-city Chandigarh , John and Mark visited KB DAV School, Sector 7, Institute for the Blind, Sector 26. As they discussed their mission, the students obliged them by writing friendship postcards which blind students dictated to them.

The Gandhians also visited Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, and Ajit Karam Singh International Public School , Sector 41.

  hearts It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. -- M.K. Gandhi