On Valentines day, mayor released 4th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar in Chandigarh
On Valentine day, giving a different and long lasting message of love, peace & brotherhood Mayor of Chandigarh Arun Sood released the 4th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar at Peoples Convention Centre at a programme organized jointly by Yuvsatta, Aaghaz-e-Dosti and Peoples Convention Centre, Chandigarh. Prominent amongst those who were present on the occasion included Prof. Agnese Dhillon, Principal, Dev Samaj College of Education, Manjit Khaira, Senior Advocate, Avtar Singh of Punjab Book Centre, Venkat Narasimhan, Programme Coordinator, GIZ-Indo-German Cooperation, Pramod Sharma, Coordinator, Yuvsatta, and Madhulika Narasimhan, Chairperson, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, New Delhi chapter.
Introducing the theme Pramod Sharma, Coordinator, Yuvsatta shared that that there is a lot of curiosity among people on both sides in India and Pakistan to know each other. He shared his experiences of being in Pakistan and said that people there are very peace loving, friendly and hospitable to people of India. He also talked about the need to engage more critically with the young people on both sides of manmade barbed wires. He also added that next month on martyrdom day of Saheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Yuvsatta will send a youth peace delegation to Pakistan.
Explaining more about the Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak initiative of India-based Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst – TC, Madhulika said that every year they launch a calendar in India and Pakistan, titled as ‘Calendar for Peace & Love’. This year, Aaghaz-e-Dosti also got a tremendous participation in paintings from youths of both the countries. From Pakistan, paintings were received from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Toba Tek Singh district. From India, paintings were received from Baroda, Bulandshahr (UP), Asian Fraternity – Pakistan). The Indo-Pak Peace Calendar – 2016 was the fourth calendar. In which Aaghaz-e-Dosti received & published messages from Ms. Asma Jahangir (Pakistani Human Rights activist), Syed Salman Chishty (Gaddinasheen-Ajmer Sharif Shrine), Mr. Ram Mohan Rai (Hali Panipati Trust India), Ms. Lalita Ramdas (Peace activist from India), Mr. Anwer Jafri (Theatre artist from Pakistan), Ms. Sadia Dehlvi (Columnist and Author from India), Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa (Political and Defense Analyst from Pakistan), Dr. Meenakshi Chhabra (Lesley University, USA), Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed (NUST, Pakistan), Dr. Dhananjay Tripathi (South Asian University), Dr. Farzana Bari (Human Rights Activist from Pakistan) and Mr. Nisar Ahmad Chaudhary (South Asian Fraternity – Pakistan).
Appreciating the efforts to involving young people in the initiative of promoting Indo-Pak relations for a stronger SAARC, Arun Sood, Mayor said that ‘people to people’ contact, especially involvement of youth is the surest way to build a pressure of public opinion for peace which no government can afford to ignore. He also said that for the first time youths are participating in peace programmes which are now snow balling at such a swift pace. The vital need is to build a cohesive South Asian identity that will ensure a greater negotiating muscle on the global stage. And the vital realization in all SAARC countries today is that peace in the South Asia is no longer a choice but the only reality left for survival.
Avtar Singh also shared his experiences of visiting Pakistan and experiencing the hospitality of the people of Pakistan. He said that today, civil society in general and youth in particular, are demanding a space for intervention in the process of normalization of the relationship between India and Pakistan. No war, no bloodshed and peace at the borders in the first demand. Next, a commitment by both governments that the nuclear button will not be pressed, not now, not ever. Finally an assurance by all governments that South Asia, indeed, the entire world will become nuclear free.
During the open session, people shared their views. Peace Club In charge of Dev Samaj College of Education Charanjeet Kaur said that there is a lot of misconception that exists in both countries. We need to increase communication channels. He said that it is difficult for people of both side of the border to meet and see each other.
Aditya a participant said that there is a need to emphasize on similarities than on differences. There is a lot that we share. Another young participant Divanshi Singhal was feeling thrilled at the enthusiasm about Indo-Pak Peace and friendship and hope for a better future for both nations.
Press Release issued and sent by Yuvsatta