Arts & Culture, Features

De Paix Yatra: The Search for Real Idols

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By: Frances Du Parth Vasavada is no stranger to spearheading social initiatives. As the co-founder of the Youth Recruitment Program and the President of YUVA Unstoppable (YUVA stands for Youth United in Visionary Action) he knows what it takes to connect youth with meaningful projects, but this year he plans to inspire them through De Paix Yatra, (De Paix means “peace” in French) his new project which will allow them to travel and see firsthand how local people are making small but meaningful contributions in society. By being part of this social movement, Vasavada is hoping that students will be able to see how anyone--not just the rich and famous--can be a leader of social change. Inspired by the phrase vasudhaiv kutumbkum (“the whole world is one single family”) taken from Hindu philosophy, this year Vasvada is embarking on a two month long bike ride across Europe and South Asia to promote social change and world peace. The ride will begin in India and travel to underdeveloped nations in order to find and collect stories and opinions from local people whose voices are seldom heard. He is hoping that this rare face-to-face time in a social media world will ignite people’s need to not only become more socially aware of the plight of others across the globe, but become part of the solution as well. The De Paix promoters will also partner up with universities in all of these various countries in order to hold local debates about youth empowerment and global peace. Other events include street dances and concerts. To make sure their peace mission will sustain and carry on in the future, De Paix Yatra will also enlist local youth volunteers to commemorate this event by painting a mural expressing their hopes and desires for a harmonious future. Filmmakers will document the ambitious bike ride spanning over two continents. The Ride for Peace will take place from August 12th to October 15th 2012. It will coincide with International Youth Day, International Peace Day and International nonviolence Day. To get involved visit their website: http://www.depaixyatra.org/  

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