Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)
A massive crowd that continuously cheered them on, phenomenal weather and even better scenery – today’s evening walk probably combined everything to make it a near perfect experience for the Bharat yatris.
Right from the start of their walk at 4:45pm from Government Arts and Science College, Gudalur, to the approximately 6:45 pm end at Gudalur Bus Stand, the padyatris walked under evening skies through an amazingly scenic route with stunning views of coffee, tea and black pepper plantations. With the mountains and clouds hovering, it was as picture perfect as its gets.
The yatris had finished their morning walk early, starting at around 6:30am and arriving at Mainimooly around 8:30am. However, in order to facilitate their transfer from Kerala to their intermediate halting place in Tamil Nadu, the yatris had to be first driven through a scenic stretch of climbing, turning roads that, as Lalit Farswan, ex MLA, stated, “reminds me of my home state of Uttarakhand.”
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi turned up the heat in a corner meeting held at the end of the day’s yatra. Earlier in the day Gandhi had met with MSME entrepreneurs from Tamil Nadu, and also with mid and small-size plantation owners, tea growers and other local producers from Nilgiris district.
In a searing attack on the BJP’s economic policies he stated that he asked a group of entrepreneurs what they thought of GST and demonetisation. “Every single one of them stated that it was a disaster.”
He spoke of the BJP’s effort to “impose one language and one culture on the entire nation”, underlining in contrast the Congress’ commitment to diversity. “We do not want uniformity” he said, “Every state, every culture & every language has a place in this beautiful country and that place should be respected.”
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Srinagar in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.
End of Day Travel Facts
1. Route traveled/ major settlements: Chungathara – Mainimooly- Government Arts and Science College, Gudalur -Morning star HSS, Gudalur
2. In Lok Sabha, Chungathara comes under Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency
3. Current Districts Name – Malappuram and Nilgiri
4. Malappuram is the most populous district of Kerala. It was also the first e-literate and first cyber-literate district of the state
5. On 28 April 1920, the Malabar district political conference of the Indian National Congress took place at Manjeri, Malappuram.
6. Milambur is one of the prominent eco-tourism destinations in Kerala. It is the home of the world’s first teak plantation.
7. Nilambur has been recognised and added to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in September 2022, due to its provision of free healthcare to citizens.
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