Indian tradition, in all cultures, has given immense importance to religious pilgrimages. It is believed that after one has finished his worldly duties and is in one’s last years, s/he should make pilgrimages to religious places in order to attain to heaven, the abode of God. Usually it is the sons that take their parents on these trips. Since such journeys are long and to faraway places, people from lower class can hardly afford them; this, however, leaves their thirst unquenched.

Jeevantirth planned a ten day trip for the people of the slums where it has intervention; starting from 19th March to 29th March 2016. Most of the participants were senior citizens from Nirant Vrudhdh Mandal and Bhajan Mandal, they were also joined by rag picking women of Ramapir no Tekro who have spent more of their lives just collecting waste. 120 people rode together on this journey on two hired buses. They traveled to Haridwar, Gokul, Mathura, Vrundavan, Pushkar, Agra, Delhi, Shyamlaji and Kesharyaji. This journey meant different things to different people. Many of them had not seen any place other than their hometown; there were couples who had no children, since it is usually the children who take their parents, this trip meant much more to them. The journey was filled with joy, fun, entertainment, dancing and singing! The aged confessed that it was the most joy they had experienced in all their lives. They came across many foreigners on their trip; when asked how they could communicate with them, Kamlesh bhai, the tour manager, said, “Smile is a universal language.”

Jeevantirth at India Gate

Jeevantirth at India Gate

Jeevantirth at Qutub Minar

Jeevantirth at Qutub Minar

Jeevantirth at Har Ki Paudi, Haridwar.

Jeevantirth at Har Ki Paudi, Haridwar.