22. Mathurbhai, how did you manage to co-ordinate all the people and meet them despite your very busy schedule?

22

 I was the busiest person during those 20 days of the march or the YATRA. At 7 in the morning the YATRA would proceed towards its next destination. All the leaders of the next village would gather on the border to welcome the YATRA with warmth and joy. I was supposed to have a chat with them and to answer their questions. As soon as the YATRA reached the village, all the village people as well as marchers would take their seats in the meeting place. Then it was time for my 30 minute lecture to start. As soon as I finished my talk, the YATRA would proceed towards its next destination. During my 30 minutes lecture other marchers could sit with ease but I could not sit for a minute. Even while proceeding from one village to another I had to remain in the lead position in front of other marchers. Way side travellers also welcomed the YATRA. When the YATRA reached the border of next village I had to remain in the front position as I was leading the march. Many times people came to extend a very warm welcome and sometimes they had a few questions to ask and I had to answer those questions and satisfy their curiosity. Again the marchers and the village people would take their seats in the assembly hall to listen to my 30 minute talk. As soon as those 30 minutes rolled by, we had to resume our march and reach the next village. In a nutshell I had no time to sit and relax. Averagely there were 8 meetings in a day and I had to keep standing for 6 to 7 hours to deliver my speech. Everyday new villagers joined with us and I had to continue my talk with them. The march that started at 7 in the morning reached at the” night halt village” at 7 in the evening. Here also there was a grand program in which thousands of people from the 20 to 25 surrounding villages remained present. In this public meeting I was expected to give detailed information about the water preservation activities in a clear systematic way. Moreover many Saints Mahants and political leaders were also present in the assembly. I had to talk with them as well as with press reporters. When the meeting dispersed, some leading persons from the neighbouring villages wanted an individual meeting with me. They wanted to discuss the water preservation activities they had started in their own village. At night before going to sleep I would visit each and every room in our ‘town of tents’ and ask all the marchers if they were comfortable or not. I was on my rounds till 11 at night. As soon as I finished my rounds I was expected to go to attend the LOK DAYRO. Everyday new artists presented their items. So I had to respect them and remain present in the LOK DAYRO for about an hour. At 12 I would go to bed. Though the LOK DAYRO continued till 3 at night. I could hear its sound even in my room but I was so tired that I went to sleep even in the midst of noise and sounds. I had to get up at 6 in the morning and get ready by 6.30. After taking my breakfast I had a meeting with the volunteers to discuss that day’s schedule and at 7 the YATRA would proceed on its pre-determined route. This schedule continued for 20 days. But the success of the YATRA gave all of us the strength and determination to work tirelessly. Never did we feel tired. People from all the surrounding villages remained present in large numbers. The YATRA got a tremendous response everywhere. In many villages inauguration ceremonies of ponds and check dams were performed. Thus we were fortunate to see the prime objective of water preservation project being fulfilled. This glorious achievement gave us infinite strength to proceed in our YATRA without getting tired. We had a sense of pride and joy that God had chosen us to carry out such an important project.