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ARC Home > Projects > Major ARC events :
Assisi 2011 | Assisi 1986 | St Francis of Assisi - an inspiring life | ARC Statement on travel To Assisi | Assisi 2011 on video | HRH Prince Philip's speech, Assisi 2011

Memories of Assisi 1986

Mr Shishir Jindal of Lucknow, India, back in 1986 at the WWF 25th anniversary event in Assisi.

In 1986 the young Shishir Jindal was part of the Indian delegation who attended the WWF 25th anniversary celebration events in Assisi, Italy.

In a recent letter to WWF International he paints a vivid picture of his experience and the value it had for him.

Letter from Mr Shishir Jindal, Media Planner & Event Coordinator of Aliganj, Lucknow, India to the Director of Information & Communication, WWF International, Switzerland, dated 26 September 2011

Memories of Assisi - Flashback of WWF 25th Anniversary Celebrations Held during 26-29 Sept. 1986 at Assisi - Italy

Dear Sir - Greetings!

This year the WWF is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. The year 1986 has been very special for me, as I was part of the Indian delegation which participated in the World Wild Life Fund’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations held from 26-29 Sept 1986 at Assisi, the beautiful town of Italy surrounded by nature. My special thanks go to WWF (India) for selecting me and a few others for this important international event.

The Indian contingent consisted of 12 nominees and was also represented in the Conference by Dr Karan Singh, Lt Col Fatehsinghrao Gaewad of Baroda, Rajmata Gyatri Devi of Jaipur, Yamini Krishnamurthy and Maj General E. D’Souza, then Secretary General of WWF (India).

Some of the Indian contingent making the 77km pilgrimage to Assisi
After arriving in Rome, our visit started with a pilgrimage – a conservation march from Gubbio to Assisi, a distance of 77 kms to be covered over three days. Pomp and ceremony marked the start of our march at Gubbio. We were flagged off with a rousing acrobatics and visual art performance by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, sent to represent the Buddhist Arts by his Holiness Dalai Lama. During the course of our walk, we passed through sleepy little villages and small towns where people came out to greet us and cheer us on our way. En route we stayed in tents, youth hostels and schools and we enjoyed campfires in the evening with music and dance.

Each representative country had its own colourful banners representing wildlife, nature or religion. Our Indian banners attracted a lot of attention: they were in the colours of our National Tricolor: the tiger on green, the peacock on white and the banyan tree on saffron symbolising our forest heritage.

The pilgrims carried colourful banners representing their faith and their natural heritage.
On the final day we all converged at Assisi and were received by H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip (President of WWF) and the five religious representatives in front of the Basilica of St Francis. We were then invited to join the President of WWF and other dignitaries and guests in a picnic supper in a nearby crypt. The highlight of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations was an interfaith ceremony on 29th Sept at Basilica of St Francis.

At the end of their journey the pilgrims were welcomed to supper in a crypt.
As we said goodbye, I felt a warm glow of pride for having been a small part of this anniversary. After this I embarked upon my journey to other European Countries and also participated in a conference at London. The WWF has now turned 50 and I pledge my total support and cooperation to it in its efforts to preserve biodiversity and achieve sustainable development across the globe.

With regards,

Sincerely,

Shishir Jindal (Member WWF)

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