To foster peace and friendship between India and Pakistan, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint initiative between non-government organisations of both countries, launched its annual “Calendar for Peace and Love” at India International Centre over the weekend.

Famous lines of acclaimed Urdu poet Sardar Jafri: “Tum Aao Gulshan-e-Lahore Se Chaman Bardosh” have been incorporated in the calendar, emphasising that India and Pakistan share similar language, cultural heritage, challenges and the desire to bring peace in the sub-continent.

This initiative has been undertaken by India-based Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst and Centre for Youth Development Activities.

According to Mission Bhartiyam founder Ravi Nitesh, the calendar has three paintings each from Pakistan and India.

“A majority of respondents from both countries have used artistic impressions to emphasise the need to foster peace and brotherhood between the two neighbouring nations. Through paintings, Indians and Pakistanis have stressed that peace can bring prosperity in the sub-continent and boundaries are artificial demarcation lines. In Pakistan, paintings have been made by children from Islamabad and Sadiqabad.”

Mr. Nitesh added: “Aaghaz-e-Dosti believes that peace is an essential prerequisite for everyone irrespective of their identities. Every year, we conduct painting competition in the two countries. And paintings of selected winners are used in the calendar. For every two months we have one painting.” Along with the dreams and aspirations of the young, the calendar also has messages from the people who have been actively working to nurture these dreams.

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