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13th day

Today is the 13th day of the march. We have been walking 20 kilometers every day. Feet gradually start to pain and give up. With me are 60 more from different villages, cities, and countries. Today we are marching from Sabalgarh to Tentara. The road is narrow; hence we walk in a que. We started at 8 in the morning, around 4 my feet started to give up, I started feeling pain, I felt that now I should sit in the car and take rest, but when I saw a lady running in front of me, the pain disappeared. She has been walking since morning, she was walking in front of me yet I did not notice that she was 76 years old. She is the eldest woman amongst us. I approached her and tried to communicate. Being French she does not speak the English I speak, I needed to bid farewell to the grammatically correct English I learnt all these years, and had to shift to an English that was shorthand.

I asked her if she was tired? She smiled and said “No”, I asked again, how are you not tired yet? She said that she has spent 32 years walking in the mountains.

I asked her what she does in France, she thought for a while and said she is a "mother", she is a mother to two grandmothers to 4. At 53 she divorced her husband. At this age she had no one around, not even her kids. The only companion along were the mountains and books. Mountains taught her discipline and books showed the way ahead.

In the midst of this journey, when she learnt about Jai Jagat, she could not resist and immediately decided to walk.

She keeps on smiling and enquiring with everyone how they were. She is the most loved of all. She might not speak our language, but the language of love surpasses all boundaries.

She makes me challenge myself. She is an inspiration to all of us. She is Leidy.

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Advisory Committee: Yves Berthelot (France),  PV Rajagopal (India), Vandana Shiva (India), Oliver de Schutter (Belgium), Mazide N’Diaye (Senegal), Gabriela Monteiro (Brazil), Irakli Kakabadze (Georgia), Anne Pearson (Canada), Liz Theoharis (USA), Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand), Jagat Basnet (Nepal), Miloon Kothari (India),  Irene Santiago (Philippines), Arsen Kharatyan (Armenia), Margrit Hugentobler (Switzerland), Jill Carr-Harris (Canada/India), Reva Joshee (Canada), Sonia Deotto (Mexico/Italy),Benjamin Joyeux (Geneva/France), Aneesh Thillenkery, Ramesh Sharma, Ran Singh (India)