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Published on Oct 16, 2012
On 12 October 2012, in bright dawn, over 7000 congregated en masse at Pune's historic Shaniwarwada Chowk.
In his address to the massive gathering, Rev. Dada referred to the assistance that animals have provided to human beings over the centuries. He said it was a shame how mankind, in return, was treating them with cruelty. Animals, through their mute gaze, are begging for mercy and compassion. Rev. Dada said, service and compassion are the symbols of a new humanity, a new age that is knocking on our door.
These hands, Rev. Dada said, have been given us not for slaughter but to save. "Today, I bring to you the cry of their sad hearts -- Have Compassion! Have Compassion! Don't make your stomach a graveyard," he urged.
Actor Sonali Kulkarni was overwhelmed at the honour of being on the same platform as Rev. Dada. She felt her life had become meaningful with his blessings. She said, "Dadaji is a strong, healthy and young 94-old, who is a vegetarian. He is a prime example of the benefits of abstaining from non-vegetarian diet. His energy, his vitality, his enthusiasm and zest for life have inspired me to turn a vegetarian from this very moment."
This declaration by Sonali was followed by a similar vow from Anuja Shinde, Actor which were received with a thunderous applause.
Then Sonali Kulkarni flagged off the Peace March along with Rev. Dada J. P. Vaswani. Balloons were released in the sky that seemed to release the pent up energy, enthusiasm and positive vibrations within the children, who began the March shouting slogans based on Meatless Day, non-violence, vegetarianism and world peace.
The Peace March culminated at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission.
Amidst the loud beating of drums and clash of cymbals, the torch of the Peace March was received by the Police Commissioner of Pune, Mr. Gulabrao Pol, who reverently placed it at the sacred Samadhi of Sadhu Vaswani.
As a prelude to the Great Master Sadhu Vaswani's birthday celebrations, the Peace March of students, animal lovers and supporters is held in Pune and many other cities of India every year. It is organized by Sadhu Vaswani Mission in order to awaken the feeling of compassion for birds and animals and foster Reverence for all Life.