Taking a step forward
To further strengthen Indo-Pak's bond of friendship and peace, Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi invited 30 Indian students, participants of Exchange for Change 2013-2015 at Pakistan Embassy on 28 April. It is an initiative by Routes 2 Roots and The Citizens Archive of Pakistan to foster friendship, change mindsets and bridge the gap across borders.
Abdul Basit, High Commissioner, Pakistan High Commission invited the participating students of Exchange for Change program, with the a purpose to familiarize himself and the children about this program about Pakistan and put to rest the inquisitiveness of their neighbouring country as well as judge for themselves the similarities of the cultures that the two nations share.
On the occasion, Indian students across 3 participating schools, Delhi Public School,Gurgaon, Bloom Public School, Vasant Kunj and Dev Samaj Modern School, Okhla brainstormed their individual experiences with Basit. The program aimed at inculcating values and cultures amongst students of India and Pakistan towards each other by sowing the bond of similarities.
Bridging the borders and scale boundaries, this fruitful campaign has given a nascent era of prosperity among the nations. This initiative is primarily to create an understanding of lifestyle, cultures and traditions of students from India and Pakistan. The students were also shown a documentary on Pakistan's land, culture and people. The students of Indian schools were impressed by the building of Pakistan High Commission which is a blend of tradition and modernity.
Basit said that such exchanges between the youth of the two countries was important for the future of peace and stability between the two countries. He further added that India and Pakistan were two major South Asian countries with immense potential' and resources and we needed to work jointly towards overcoming the challenges such as hunger, poverty, illiteracy and disease. The High Commissioner outlined that students should acquire the ability to shun stereotypes and look at things around them more objectively.
Rakesh Gupta, Founder, Routes 2 Roots said, ‘Routes 2 Roots have been carrying out Cultural Exchange programs from the past 10 years between India and Pakistan and from 2010 have been pursuing 'Exchange for Change' program specially designed for the children of India and Pakistan schools which is unlike most of the Exchange programs as it gives insight into the children impressionable minds, their questions, curiosities and fears of the unknown land being answered by none other than their counterpart in the other country.