Day 10 : Happy workers, budding entrepreneurs and a walk fueled by passion
Firstly, thank you. As always. To all my supporters around the world.
On the morn of day 10, Natesa Iyer and I , were joined by Jambu Keswaran and Muthu, the young vibrant HR head of Armstong textiles ( see Day 9). More than 50 men and women, with smiles brimming from end to end, joined the day’s planned walk to Coimbatore. It was such a welcome surprise to see a happy workforce in this industry, as I have heard many tales of worker mistreatment and exploitation. But, the stories of these workers who have come to Armstrong, with very little skills and often in dire straits, and had been lifted and put on their feet, was overwhelmingly positive.
Chants of “Go Push go” reverberated through the busy Thirupur Road. At times, I was in my element, power walking in front, and other times, I slowed to mingle back and forth with the other excited walkers. At the bypass near Avinasi, we bid farewell to the “inimitable 50” and set off to Coimbatore.
Volunteers from Isha joined me, as we shared many stories, about activism and changing the world in general! I wore a fair trade T-shirt with a cotton stamp. Later, as we were interviewed by the “Sun TV” channel, and the group ended proceedings by the ceremonious garlanding, we set off at blistering pace towards Coimbatore. Natesa was rested at this stage, as his feet were flaring up again.
Upon reaching Coimbatore, plenty of interesting meetings were set up, including talking about our walk with a group called “My Story”, where Natesa did an interview. Engaging in discussions with the owner of a start-up company, by the name Neveditha, selling traditional Indian sweets to the world, and meeting a 1000 peoples strong environmental organisation, Osai , meaning “beautiful melody”, who presented their latest technology on clean energy, was the tip of the iceberg.
I have been following the marches in London for the climate justice movement also and keeping a close eye on the COP21 proceedings. They WILL make a binding agreement this year. As Pope Francis even said, it would be a catastrophe if they don’t.