The Telegraph
Thursday , January 31 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Farmers walk the talk for society

A group of farmers from Haryana is showing the way to peace and unity to the country, quite literally.

Six farmers from Karnal district of Haryana reached Jamshedpur on Tuesday night as part of their 13,000km padyatra from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, which is aimed at making youths aware of social evils and spread massage of peace and unity.

The farmers began their journey on foot, called Gandhi Doot Sadhbhawna Yatra, from Jammu on January 12 to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. They will carry water and soil from all states they visit and use the same to plant saplings at Rajghat in Delhi after completion of their yatra in Kanyakumari.

The yatra, an initiative of Yuva Gramin Vikas Samiti, Karnal, in association with National Youth Project. Haryana chapter, and supported by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Arunachal Pradesh Gandhi Ashram and All India Hopeline Welfare and Youth Charitable Society, is scheduled to end on February 14.

From Jamshedpur, the group left for Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Telegraph, national convener of the yatra, Muslim Chouhan, said they had started out with 11 members, but five of them dropped out on the way after falling ill. They cover nearly 400-500km each day.

“All of us are farmers from Haryana. We collected funds from among ourselves and began the yatra with a mission to educate youths against social evils like female foeticide, drug addiction, pollution, dowry, HIV/AIDS, regionalism, child exploitation, communalism, terrorism et al and also advocate for peace and unity. We interacted with youths wherever we visited and explained the objective of our yatra. We are confident of completing our yatra despite losing out five of our friends to illness,” said Chouhan.

The six who reached Jamshedpur on Tuesday night were Chouhan, Vikram Bhatti, Narendra Lather, Sukhbir Kundu, Sanjeev Dhamija (all from Karnal) and Surender Chokar (Panipat).

Their journey to Bhubaneswar was flagged off by East Singbhum additional deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar from the district collectorate.