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Students seek to spread Gandhi's message of peace

NDTV - 2 October 2005
New Delhi
Neha Khanna

Children from a Mumbai school are visiting the capital with the objective of spreading Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace.

Called the train of peace, A Rajdhani Express brought a group of over 50 school students from Mumbai.

Donning the Gandhi cap and distributing Gandhi memorabilia to co-passengers on their way, these peace envoys aged between 10 and 15 years said they believe Gandhi's ideas provide many answers to today's problems.

"Gandhi's principles of Satyagraha and Ahimsa are as relevant today as in the past. People may say what are these kids going to do. I want to say we can make a difference," said Nutash Ali Kotwal, a student.

Unique exercise

The children visited Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat where they participated in a unique exercise of writing letters of friendship to children of their age in Pakistan.

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.

"We though if we could take these letters to Pakistan, the kids there will never look at India the same way again. The next time someone says something to them about India, they will say they know a different India," said Mark, an American national.

The children enthusiastically endorsed the initiative.

"This way there will be friendship between them and us. We want them to know that we are like them. We feel like them. We do the same kind of things that they do," said Shruti Iyer, a student.

For the children it's not just an opportunity to play peace messengers on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti but also their way of paying tribute to perhaps the greatest apostle of peace the world has ever known.

  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