We are writing to you and other distinguished figures with strong connections to South Asia, from Iran to Burma, and Tibet to the Maldives, to seek your help in our literary project.
We’re calling the project ‘Poetry for Peace’, a title that can be interpreted in various ways: peace between nations, between communities or between individuals, or peace within oneself.
We will donate 20% of the royalties from the sale of the anthology to Amnesty International and the remainder will help support the Rukhla Project, an active rural development project in Himachal Pradesh, India. The overall aim is to help foster initiatives that support and develop the local community and economy, including working with village schools, eco-volunteering, establishing links with educational institutions within India and abroad (including Japan), and so on. At the moment, the farm directly supports three families, including seven children. This figure is expected to rise as the project develops. There are plans to develop a cottage industry in the short term, producing apple vinegars, cheeses, and other artisan quality products using local materials and expertise. The buildings are being upgraded to accommodate guests, including trekkers, artists, poets, musicians and writers, as one of the aims is to develop it as a visitor centre where people can find their own inner peace and/or explore the forests and mountains with a local guide.
We hope that by sharing our love of words, we can add an idealistic drop to the pool of common good – a small reminder that we are one human race, with so much more uniting than dividing us: a common heritage, a common future, one common life.
I knew I couldn’t let it pass and have submitted the poems to the anthology, along with some of this introduction.
On the dense road, at the tough pass, should they flee,
If there should be no lantern light, nor hearth, nor flame,
Then do what others cannot: