Retired vicar takes on Sunderland trek to support Indian tribal march

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A RETIRED vicar is urging Wearsiders to show their support for millions of Indians living in poverty.

While 100,000 tribal people march over 200 miles, from Gwalior to New Delhi, a smaller scale walk will take place from Sunderland to Tyneside.

Tomorrow’s Bede’s Way March for Justice is one of 10 Christian Aid walks taking place around the UK.

The global event has been labelled the largest ever non-violent campaign the world has seen.

Reverend Michael Unwin, who has supported Christian Aid for more than 40 years, said: “It is about supporting the tribal people in India who work hard on the land and yet are being denied their legal rights to land ownership.

“Any support we can give the campaign to get the Indian Parliament to give people land they can depend on will go to a good cause.

“The Bede’s Way solidarity march is also an excellent opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the North East.

“The walk follows a beautiful and incredibly-historical track which was used by the great scholar Bede and highly-educated monks of the time.

“It’s fascinating to learn how the land has developed in both agriculture and industry.

“There is a lovely view of the countryside from Cleadon Hill and you come into some land that used to be pit heaps, but it has turned into paddocks,”

The 80-year-old was joined 
on last year’s walk by historian 
and television presenter John Grundy.

He said: “I thought I would be the oldest on the walk, but I was shocked to discover I was walking with someone who was 85 and still very fit and lively.

“That’s what I enjoy about the walk: it’s a chance to meet people of all ages, from different parts of the North East and from both faith and non-faith backgrounds.”

Tomorrow’s walk will leave St Peter’s, Monkwearmouth, at 9.45am, and travel to St Paul’s, Jarrow. A smaller four-mile walk will also take place for those wanting to show their support.