Event: Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s First Indo-Pak Peace Workshop conducted in Delhi
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a cross-border Friendship Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and The Catalyst (Pakistan), aims to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. Through its initiatives that ranges from interactive sessions in schools and colleges, discussions, virtual peace building course and peace calendar, it aims to create a culture of mutual respect and understanding.
With this aim, Aaghaz-e-Dosti team conducted the first Indo-Pak peace workshop on 30th May with Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, an organisation that works for the welfare and empowerment of the socially marginalized. The workshop was conducted in Indian Social Institute. The facilitators were Devika Mittal, Madhulika Narasimhan, Madhuri Mittal, Shruti Achesh and Amrita Middey.
In the beginning of the workshop, the audience was asked about their perception about Pakistan. The facilitator Madhuri Mittal inquired, “what word comes to your mind when you think about Pakistan?” The responses ranged from “terrorism”, “good food” to “cricket”.The first part of the workshop had the facilitators Madhuri Mittal and Shruti Achesh to tell the audience about the similarities between India and Pakistan and Pakistani perceptions about India and Indians. They told them about their love for Bollywood, the great honour that Bollywood actors especially Dilip Kumar receives from the people of
Peshawar and the shared craze for cricket. They told them about the hospitality that Indians receive in Pakistan. This as corroborated by Mr. Ajat Shatru of CSEI who has been to Pakistan many times. This was followed by screening of Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s introductory video about Pakistan emphasizing on its rich diversity.
This was followed by Amrita Middey telling them about the religious diversity in Pakistan and communal harmony. She also briefed them about the challenge of religious extremism and conservatism and the resistance by the people. She shared that incidents of communal violence against the minorities are regarded to be against islam and the constitution by the people of the majority religion, Islam. She shared photographs of Muslims forming human shields around churches and temples to protect the minorities.
In the last part, Madhulika Narasimhan talked about the major issues between India and Pakistan and the need for peace and conflict resolution as the way forward for a peaceful and prosperous nation.
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