Sikh youth ambassador for peace from Amritsar, Anantdeep Singh Dhillon, participated in the second Global Assembly of the United Religions Initiative (URI) held in Mayapur this month.

He was one of the 100 young leaders selected from 40 countries representing all major religions, spiritual traditions and indigenous faiths invited for the young leaders programme as part of the URI 2008 Global Assembly. They all came together in the small temple town of Mayapur in West Bengal’s Krishna Nagar district. It is the global headquarters of ISKCON and has the samadhi memorial of its founder Srila Prabhupada.

After the pre-assembly youth programme, he participated in the Global Assembly that brought together 300 global inter-faith leaders from 44 countries. The Global Assembly served as an opportunity for members, all of whom are working on inter-faith projects worldwide; to speak face to face, learn from one another's successes and to build further alliances within the URI network. The theme of the assembly was “Pilgrims of peace many paths, one purpose”.

Incidentally, Dhillon was the only Sikh youth delegate invited for the assembly. He is the youth, inter-faith and community development coordinator with United Sikhs and also member of the Earth Charter Youth Initiative. During the pre-assembly programme for young leaders he presented a session on “Earth Charter and youth involvement for sustainable development”. In the assembly he co-chaired two different sessions covering topics of environment, peace and inter-faith harmony.

He has now been nominated as member of the global youth coordinating team that will help give shape to the youth programme of the URI, a global peace and inter-faith NGO headquartered in San Francisco-California (USA).

Anantdeep as youth leader and peace activist is of conviction, strongly denounces violence and inhuman killings of people across the globe at the handd of fanatics and terrorists. In an era where common challenges affect every nation, the young leaders rejected the notion that religious intolerance and violence need by a given part of life. The meeting incidentally coincided with the acts of violence in Mumbai. These acts contradict the universal human values taught by all sincere spiritual paths, chief amongst which are peace, compassion and truth, he feels.

During his stay there he led sessions on leadership, visited local village to engage in a hand-on service project and helped paint a peace mural.

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