Peace – the most sought after yet the most elusive word. Across various cultures, spanning the generations, the idea of peace has always been there. Be it through Atharva Veda in ancient India, Greek philosophers, Buddha or great thinkers of modern world from Einstein to Mahatma Gandhi, Peace has always been an underlying theme. Yet, the reason it has been so elusive could be because of inability of people to unite. We always find a reason that can divide us - be it colour, caste, religion, profession or our strata in the society. While the need is to be compassionate towards our fellow human beings, time and again, human race has always failed in its efforts to do so, resulting in inequality and lack of unity.
This was the basic idea when Think Beyond team decided to bring together various communities living in Powai through Powai Peace Run. An idea, which would ensure a beginning of interaction among literates & lesser literates, privileged & not so privileged; an interaction that over the period can make an urban middle class impart better knowledge to children lacking proper education at this moment – in turn preparing them for being an ideal citizen of the country and the world; an interaction that can be a genesis for better understanding over a period and thus bringing in equality & harmony across the communities.
It was an idea which started with a handful of people and gathered momentum as more and more volunteers joined hands. Various NGOs, including Udaan, Vidya, Mobile Creche, MBA Foundation, Asha for Education and Young Environmentalists agreed to bring the children from their various programmes for the Peace Run. Meanwhile, the volunteers comprising of youngsters and elders were making an all out concerted effort to ensure that the Peace Run happens in the most efficient & economic manner. Rather than seeking a personal glorification for Think Beyond, or tom-tomming about the organisations involved, the efforts were only to express our gratitude for what we already have. While Hiranandani Group, Hiranandani Hospital, Haiko, Big Bazaar & Deloitte supported the event, the only banners & placards that could be seen prominently were peace messages prepared personally by some of the volunteers & participating children.
Flagged off by a few Mumbai Marathon runners, who changed their training schedule for the event, the Peace Run was soon a joyous & exuberant expression by children & elders alike, something that made the entire efforts of the volunteers of Think Beyond worthwhile. After all, Think Beyond wanted to make a statement about “Peace through Unity & Harmony” on the 1st anniversary of the day when last year our peacekeeping forces had overcome the terrorists.
The idea of Peace had fired the soul of Beatles when John Lenon sang one of his most famous solo - "Imagine".
Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try,
No hell below us, above us only sky,
Imagine all the people, living for today.
Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one
The 1st Powai Peace Run was an effort towards making that imagination a reality one day. We know it is a small step, but all that we wanted to say was (using lines from another hit of Beatles)
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!