Peace Building Initiatives among the youth of India and Pakistan

About

TIMELINE: 2013-2014

The Global Peace Index (2013), that take into account estimated the number of deaths due to internal disturbances, level of perceived criminality in society, level of respect for human rights, terrorist’s activities, number of jailed persons, numbers of violent demonstrations, and access to small arms etc, ranks India 141st and Pakistan 153rd out of 162 countries assessed. This makes both countries two of the most violent countries in the world.

India has witnessed some major communal riots in the country including the Bombay riots (1992-93), Godhra riots and its aftermath in Gujrat (2002) and Kandhamal violence in Orissa (2007-2008) and Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh in 2014. The incidences of

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Impact

  • Strengthened mutual trust- Twelve Peace Clubs with a membership of about 600 members formed in the schools of project areas, through which the members have become familiar with each other and gained mutual trust, overcoming the myths and prejudices, by exchanging views on peace through video conferencing that was organised in Nirmala Convent School.
  • Knowledge and confidence built- Young leaders are emerging with better understanding on peace building and its relevance as a result of peace clubs that are still functioning more effectively with core team formed and timely activities within the schools.
  • Initiatives of Children on Peace- In Aknoor School, on the occasion of school day, the entire programme was designed on peace and harmony which was exhibited in the form of role play, awareness songs and speeches on national and international leaders who dedicated their lives for promoting peace. Such ways of expressing their talent on peace and harmony is something that was never explored in these troubled areas prior to this particular programme. Moreover, through peace conventions, many more children of these school were mobilised to understand the importance of peace and overcome cultural and religious prejudices. Peace club members campaigned for promoting peace along with other students in the same school in different classes and of various localities.
  • Solidarity- There is a strengthened expression of solidarity among the children of India and Pakistan border through collective experience sharing and opinions about ameliorating the conditions through the young minds. Besides, the communities have also been mobilised which have started to reflect on the need for such initiatives. Cross border initiatives indeed facilitated this trust and solidarity building. Video conferences and social media are some of the means used for sharing and building sustainability of the thought processes to nurture the good will established.