CHENNAI: Travelling from Mumbai to Chennai in 60 days (a distance of 1,800 km), Yogesh Mathuria, life coach and ‘peace warrior’ from Kandvli is on a world peace pilgrimage, walking along with his friend Somanath Bhosle from Jalgaon. But his walk does not end here and his final destination is Sri Lanka. City Express catches up with the former globe-trotting IT professional-turned-life about his famous peace walks.
For Yogesh, the year he decided to come back to India from the US after 30 years of being a fiery IT professional, was the turning point in his life. “My wife and I had enough time outside and came back home in 2004. But, just a week after our arrival she was diagnosed with cancer and after treatment in India and in Canada, she died. That was my closest interaction with medical sciences,” he recalls.
Losing faith in medical science, Yogesh became curious about alternative methods of healing. “I left my job and had no idea what to do further. When I started researching on health issues and alternative methods of treatment, gradually, things fell into place,” shares Yogesh who has walked to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Shirdi, Amritsar and the Wagha border.
“I weighed 95 kg back then, had high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes too. People didn’t trust me when I told them that there are cures that don’t involve conventional medicines. That’s when my daughter asked me to prove myself with my methods, so that others would believe me…and I did! I came out of all my illness and the last medicine I took was in April 2010. I knew I could talk about it to a wider audience,” he adds.
These walks have moved him out of his comfort zone and also enabled him to manage unexpected scenarios…and not to forget the ‘zero cash situation’. “My father brought home a friend when I was a kid — Satish Kumar. He had undertaken an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage from India to USA without money and wrote a book about it. This was embedded in my mind…but, I had lost focus of it as I grew up. But, things that affects you in your childhood, will always come back, and I took to the same trail many years later,” he shares.
He rues that his first major walk in 2014 — Mumbai to Pakistan, still remains incomplete. “When I discussed about these walks with Satish, he suggested that I walk to Pakistan with the message of peace. Knowing the challenge of going there, I pre-planned and met the ambassador of Pak asking for help. He agreed and said he would help me with the visa, but, unfortunately, when I reached Wagha border, the news of the Peshawar school massacre broke and I had to stay there for four days and return to Mumbai. I will complete that walk someday,” he says.
His current walk from Mumbai to Sri Lanka flagged off on September 21, on world Peace Day. From Chennai, he will travel to Rameswaram and Madurai from where he will reach Colombo. “This will be my first ‘country walk’. I am sowing the seed of peace and I am sure one day, it’ll grow into a tree. I meet so many different people every day – many youngsters among them, if I can create an impact on one out of five people I meet, that’s success to me,” he opines. By the end of 2020, Yogesh intends to go around Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and finally China. “All our basic food needs and accommodation are taken care of. We don’t plan it…it just happens and I feel lucky about that,” he smiles.
(To host Yogesh Mathuria, or to join him in his peace walks,