It is rightly said that if you believe in something, you need to go fight for it yourself because no one else is going to fight your battles for you. This seems to be the motto that drove a group of disabled people to embark on a march for peace to Nay Pyi Taw. This march has not just raised eyebrows but has given rise to a feeling of awe and amazement at the strength of these people.
Mapping their Way across Towns
Organised by a group of disabled people who call themselves “Holding for Peace,” this rally began from Myitkyina in the state of Kachin on the 15th of February and finally reached Mandalay on February 23rd in the afternoon. From here, this enigmatic group of wheelchair users lodged for a while at a Nursery School and then continued their journey toward Nay Pyi Taw, where they hoped to arrive by February 28th but as luck would have it, they reached a day earlier.
All in all, this wheelchair rally went through 14 towns in their journey to get to the capital and create an awareness about peace there. A lot of the members in this group are from the Khawechan School for the Blind, while the others consist of former athletes and people belonging to other organisations for the disabled.
Holding for Peace – Ardently working toward their goal
The group led by Htein Lin said that they were rallying for peace as a way of showing their support for the 21st Century Panglong Conference that was going to be held there but has now been postponed. At the same time, the group sought to provide assistance to the IDPs, encourage dialogues on peace and create awareness about the civil war while going on a signature campaign in all the places they passed.
While having a rally and marching for peace across such a large area was certainly a huge feat for this peace group, they certainly didn’t stop there. They also organised a peace talk show along with a bunch of entertaining programs at the Manaw Yaman ground in Mandalay. This program included a number of talks by disabled people who spoke on a range of topics. This was paired up with a stunning performance by 10 visually impaired people, who really swayed the crowd that evening.
A Feeling of Achievement
Not only was this peace convoy of 50 welcomed with open arms by the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi along with the Minister for Social Welfare, but they were also thrilled to have received such an outpouring of support from all the people they met.
Minister for Social Welfare, Dr.Win Myat Aye praised the work that the convoy had undertaken and congratulated them for the immense effort they had made to propagate peace. Despite their disabilities, they undertook this long peace journey, just to show that everyone in Myanmar is hoping for peace.
The public has developed a will for peace and if there is a true desire for it, nothing is really impossible. This is the hope that this group held close to their heart as they began their astounding march for peace.