Sri M hopes to take 'Walk of Hope' forward to benefit society

 After a marathon 16-month 'Walk of Hope' from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, social reformer and spiritual guide Sri M wants to use his experience to benefit society through initiatives which include setting up of mobile classrooms for underprivileged children.

New Delhi: After a marathon 16-month 'Walk of Hope' from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, social reformer and spiritual guide Sri M wants to use his experience to benefit society through initiatives which include setting up of mobile classrooms for underprivileged children.

"For us it has been a walk of learning, it is just the beginning. My belief in human goodness has improved and for me I think the seeds have been sown, we need to rest, reflect and come together," he said here today.

The 66-year-old Kerala-born social reformer plans to start mobile classrooms for children of slum dwellers, construction workers and other underprivileged sections of society in different places of the country, beginning from south India, with support from local authorities.

"We are planning to set up these mobile classrooms that will operate under tents and with a single teacher or two. These classrooms will be have a lot of outdoor teaching and will be equipped microscopes and telescopes and a small audio visual unit and hope to have help from the local authorities," he said.

The reformer said he has discussed the proposal with the National Open School and would finalise plans soon.

Starting last year, Sri M walked through 11 states covering 7500 km in a span of 500 days "with just Rs 20 lakh and without corporate help".

During his walk, the reformer also known as Mumtaz Ali, met with various political leaders and other dignitaries and also addressed Parliamentarians cutting across party lines with whom he shared his experiences.

Another area that he said he was troubled by was the plight of 'half-widows' of conflict-torn Kashmir.

"During my walk I had good interaction with the locals and they told me about the plight of women whose husbands have disappeared and they live a life what is called half-widow. I plan to spend some time in Kashmir and look at how to help such people get a gainful employment, get schools for children," he said.

Sri M also has plans to introduce the idea of comparative religion that can be adopted by all schools, colleges and universities. "Children should also learn something about other religions apart from their own," he said.

He said he has received an invitation to do a similar walk of hope in Berlin, Bonn and Zurich next year.

"When I started out people called me mad but the entire journey was a learning experience for me. The walk only starts now, the seeds have already sown," he said. 

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