Routes2Roots (R2R), an Indian non-profit organisation in collaboration with The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP), working for peace and dialogue between India and Pakistan, has launched Exchange for Change 2013 – 2015 in Karachi. According to a media statement, 5,000 students aged 10 to 14 from schools across Delhi, Dehradun, Mumbai Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore are taking part in this programme.
The project aims to help students in both countries realise that a sustained dialogue is the only way forward to encourage them to form their opinions. During the life of this project, a sustained exchange of written, visual and oral histories will take place between the students. Exchange for Change was launched in September 2010 between 2,400 students from ten schools in Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi and Lahore. After its spectacular success, the project was expanded in 2012 to 3,500 students from 17 schools in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. During the 14 month of the project, a persistant exchange of written, visual and oral histories linked school children aged 10-14 years across the six cities.
Exchange for Change is an exciting initiative by Routs 2 Roots and The Citizens Archive of Pakistan that aims at improving relationships between school students in different countries. The programme seeks to help students across borders realise that dialogue is possible and sustainable. Through cross-culture communication we have realised that students can have a clearer understanding of their history, culture and lifestyles. Routs 2 Roots believe that such interaction will in turn lead to a positive change and eliminate cultural misconceptions and inter-generational conflict.
Tina Vachani, Founder of R2R addressing media at the launch of Exchange for Change 2013-15 in Karachi.
Tina Vachani, Founder of Routes 2 Roots said: “EFC is not an ordinary program or just an extra curricular activity for the children, it is the value we see in the connect between India and Pakistan, which we want to grow with in terms of culture, festivities, lifestyle and sustaining togetherness. The leaders of tomorrow, our children from both the countries share the realities for their glorious future”.
Swaleha Alam Shahzada, Executive Director and Governing Board Member of CAP said: “The growth of the project from 2400 students in 2010 to 5000 students in 2013 has created a bridge that can no longer be ignored. These students from across Pakistan and India have taught us a very important lesson – a lesson of tolerance and appreciation of each other. Now it is up to the society to support this bridge and these students in their mission to sustain and strengthen the relationships created through EFC”.
Singer Atif Aslam at the launch of Exchange for Change 2013-15 in Karachi.
Routes2Roots is a registered non-profit charitable organisation, which endeavours to bring together people, cultures and values across the SAARC countries, in particular India and Pakistan. Routes2Roots has organized numerous programs across the country from artists from Pakistan and other SAARC countries and have sent Indian Artists to these countries in a move to enhance people to people understanding and make this region a peaceful place. Routes2Roots has been actively engaged with ICCR, Delhi Tourism, Rajasthan Tourism, J&K Tourism and other government and non-government organizations. Routes2Roots are also a member of World Association of NGO’s New York, the US.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, operating in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. We seek to educate the community, foster an awareness of our nations history and instil pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage. Our organisation has three main goals; to preserve and provide access to the archive, to build and support educational programmes and to develop educational products based on the testimonies collected. Our vision is to develop CAP as the foremost museum and heritage centre of Pakistani history, photography, culture, literature and historical documentation demonstrating the strength and spirit of Pakistan from the perspective of a citizen.