An Indian man has been walking and cycling for the past seven years to spread Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace and harmony on a global scale.
Walk for peace: Nitin Sonawane, 32, has so far traversed 40,000 kilometers (approximately 24,900 miles) across 48 countries since starting his journey from Sevagram Ashram in Wardha, Maharashtra, in November 2016.
Sonawane, an engineer from the village of Rashin, began the voyage accompanied by four others, but they all gave up along the way. Continuing the endeavor alone, he initially planned to conclude his journey at the Raj Ghat in Delhi on the 152nd birth anniversary of Gandhi in 2021, but his unwavering commitment led him to press on and cover even more ground.
The journeyman: Over the years, Sonawane has cycled an astonishing 25,000 kilometers (approximately 15,500 miles) and walked an additional 15,400 kilometers (approximately 9,570 miles). His expedition extended across diverse landscapes and cultures, threading through countries like Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, the US, Mexico and several African nations.
On Wednesday, he began his UAE leg from Ras Al Khaimah with a plan to cover Ajman, Sharjah Dubai and reach the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 15 to celebrate Indian Independence Day.
Voice of reason: According to Sonawane, he also aims to foster trust and understanding between nations and individuals in a bid to counter the prevailing animosities plaguing the world. He engaged with local communities, educators, diplomatic bodies and students, delivering insightful talks about the importance of peace and non-violence.
“I wanted people, especially the younger generation, to understand the ideals of peace and non-violence and they can in turn influence others,” Sonawane told Edexlive. “That way it can reach millions.”