November 10

We reached the RTO ( Regional transport office) 4 Kms before Malthona, Madhya Pradesh after a challenging 24.5km walk yesterday. The morning saw us catch up on each other over discussions after which we started the march towards Malthona by 11. Women were in front leading the march today. After walking for around 5kms, to receive a thundering welcome . The ‘daldal ghodi’ dance performance by the enthusiastic musician-cum-dancers amazed and energised us all. We reached the Malthona bus stand where we had a gathering. It was really great to hear from a Vasudha, 15 year old girl speak about the importance of Gandhi in today’s times. Rajaji brought to light the importance of showcasing and talking about the strengths and celebrations of a community rather than only talking about the problems they face. He said,”Changing the problem-based narrative to one that highlights the strengths and innovation of a community is very important. If we want to see Bundelkhand flourish, let us talk about our strengths and celebrations too.” He also said, “Let us awaken the Godliness within us so that we can offer ourselves to others. Gandhi said no man must be left behind however Vivekananda went one step ahead to say that if there is a dog that is hungry it is virtuous to feed it first that’s spirituality’ reminding us all to extend our love towards humankind, animals and nature.” Our friends from France sang a song they wrote ‘Aale vune maache’ ( the lyrics highlights how we are all enjoying the peace walk, walking so that every child has a right to education, clean air and green earth) to conclude the afternoon session. Aashima, Claire and Benzi had a conversation with the women of different communities and listened to their stories,struggles and challenges of living in a forest.