Young Indians and Pakistanis to advocate peace through their paintings for a peace calendar

Aaghaz-e-Dosti Peace Calendar

New
Delhi. Amid the difficult time where India and Pakistan are looking with horns
locked, the younger generation of both sides preparing to paint for peace for a
peace calendar to send message for peace and harmony with the aim to foster
people to people relations and creating an environment of peace.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti,
an Indo-Pak Friendship initiative has invited entries for its 8th
Peace calendar that includes twelve paintings (six from India and six from
Pakistan) made by young students of both countries on the theme ‘India-Pakistan
Peace and Friendship
’. Since last seven years, these peace calendars are
being released annually and brings a message of 365 days of peace. Students
from both sides of border, though usually don’t get a chance to meet each
other, but express their dreams and desire through these paintings which
Aaghaz-e-Dosti term ‘Paintings of Hope’.

Since
last seven years, in most of the paintings submitted by students, birds flying
above barbed wires, students and soldiers shaking hands, People celebrating
festivals together and other such depictions can be seen. In few paintings
there are strong messages as students also send their citation to interpret
what they painted. School students studying in class six to twelve in India and
Pakistan can e-mail their scanned paintings to Aaghaz-e-Dosti.

This
peace calendar also carries twelve messages from renowned persons from both
sides who supports India-Pakistan Peace and since their seven years of journey,
peace calendars have received warm welcome in cities like Delhi, Lahore,
Mumbai, Karachi, Kolkata, Islamabad, Panipat and at many more places including
Kyrgyzstan, USA and Sweden where peace supporters gathered to release it and to
talk about peace.

Few
eminent names who have sent messages for Aaghaz-e-Dosti Peace Calendar in
previous years include Tara Gandhi, Nandita Das, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Dr. S N
Subbarao, Kamla Bhasin, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Kuldeep Nayar, TCA Raghavan,
Admiral Ramdas, Major General (Retd) TK Kaul, Prof. Happymon Jacob , Rajagopal
PV from India and of Prof Ayesha Jalal, Raza Rumi, Sheema Kermani, Beena
Sarwar, Salima Hashmi, Asma Jahangir, 
Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy, Dr. Imtiyaz Alam and others from Pakistan.

Ravi Nitesh, of Aaghaz-e-Dosti said, “The
importance of the calendar is that it is a collection of shared dreams and
hopes for friendship which we will be reminded of everyday. The reason to focus
on students is to enable the future leaders to forge the path to a better world
by engaging them with aspects of
critical thinking, civic engagement, human rights and dialogue as solution.These voices are sane, innocent and pure
without any political motives and thus represent the natural desire and reality
that the younger generation of India and Pakistan would dream of.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti is not just limited to the peace calendar but has been working since last seven years now through various peace education activities that includes Aman Chaupals (interactive sessions with an Indian in a Pakistani school and vice versa), Peace Workshops, seminars and discussions, letter and greeting card exchanges between school students in India and Pakistan etc.”

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