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Peace march: Cyclists to reach out to Pak with message of love

At a time when governments in India and Pakistan are investing crores in strengthening their armies, a group of students from Delhi University is cycling thousands of kilometres to stress on the need for peace between the neighbouring countries.

The group, consisting of  around 30 students, started the cycle march on 1 June and has already covered over 3,200 kms. It has travelled through states such Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana and reached Delhi on Wednesday.

The group that began its journey from Kanyakumari has been collecting signatures from people they met on their way.  The march titled ‘We Love Our Neighbour Pakistan’ had started from Kanyakumari and will end in Islamabad.
Praveen Singh, the convener of the march said, ‘India and Pakistan spend a huge amount on the defence sector which can be better used to fight against poverty and hunger. We want to change this state of affairs by joining hands for peace.’

‘A number of organisations have come out in support of the march including United Religions Initiative, San Francisco, Harijan Sevak Sangh, Vivekananda Kendra and Jeevan Vidya,’ Singh said.
In Vadodara, the group was joined by several enthusiastic and energetic 60 and 70 years olds who too will travel with them.

Singh added that the group will soon be meeting Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. They also hope to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, chairperson of the National Advisory Council Sonia Gandhi and Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Salman Bashir during their stopover in Delhi.

‘We have received the signature of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde,’ Singh said.

He added that the group will proceed via Baghpat to Chandigarh from Delhi and from there to the Wagah Border in Amritsar. It will then enter Lahore and move towards Islamabad. ‘We expect to reach Wagah Border on 14 August to jointly celebrate the Independence days of India and Pakistan. We hope to reach Islamabad by 31 August 2013,’ Singh informed.
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