Puducherry

A walk carrying stories of hope

While this is not the first time Chennai and Bengaluru-based activist Pushpanath Krishnamurthy will be undertaking a walk nor it is the longest distance he will be covering, this one will cover various agro-climatic zones and is “a walk carrying stories of hope,” he says.

Mr. Krishnamurthy is undertaking a 450-km walk from Puducherry and Auroville to Udhagamandalam to create awareness of Fair Trade and climate justice, to coincide with the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris.

“For the first time, I will be covering the seaside, the plains and the mountains,” Mr. Krishnamurthy says. He will carry with him success stories about Fair Trade in Puducherry and Auroville to farmers, schools and colleges in more than 20 places on the way. Mr. Krishnamurthy will be walking 20 to 25 km a day and be hosted by different people and organisations voluntarily.

“My walk is not a protest. I will be telling the story of women at the forefront. The walk will be a way forward for bigger things,” he says. Mr. Krishnamurthy’s supporters in Ireland and Indonesia have promised to walk there in solidarity, he adds. “We have a responsibility to the next generation. Time is running out. But there is a way out and that is Fair Trade. Businesses will have to make that change,” says the 64-year-old, who finds his inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi.

On climate change, he says, the “poor are always the first, worst and hardest hit” and the conference in Paris will be a defining moment. In 2009, he walked for climate justice from England to Copenhagen in Denmark (595 km) to coincide with COP15 in Copenhagen. In 2012, he walked from Baba Budangiri in the Western Ghats to Mysuru (500 km) to highlight climate change and especially the plight of small coffee growers, coinciding with the COP17 in Durban, South Africa. In 2013, he walked from Garstang, the world’s first Fair Trade Town, to Keswick, England. This will be his first walk in India on Fair Trade.

The walk is supported by dedicated social media pages and a website where Mr. Krishnamurthy posts regular updates. The walk will be flagged off on November 20 at 11 a.m. from Gandhi Thidal, Beach Road, and culminate on December 10. Hundreds of people are expected to join him along the way, says his organising team.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 8:46:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/a-walk-carrying-stories-of-hope/article7898965.ece

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