Proceedings will begin with the unique ‘Torch Of Unity’ procession on Friday, 27th September 2013, which will feature 100 school children from across London who will walk through Southall, West London, seen as one of London’s most diverse areas. The event will see a host of key dignitaries and public figures in attendance, including: Mr Vayalar Ravi, NRI Minister from the Government of India, Valjinder Singh Virdee, President of the Sikh Council for UK, Master Venerable Ji Xiu, Senior Master Buddhist Monk, Dr Sheik Ramzy, Chair of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, Shri Rashmikant Joshi JI, President of National Council of Hindu Temples (UK), the Ambassador for Ghana and Sachin Gupta, Mayor of Hounslow.
The event reflects TUFF’s 2013 focus on Youth, with the core belief being that in order to sow the seeds of respect and mutual understanding for each other early, it is vital to connect with the younger generation – the ‘voices of tomorrow’.
The Torch Of Unity launch coincides with the third annual Unity of Faith Festival, taking place on Sunday 29th September 2013 in Southall Park. With over 30,000 individuals expected to attend, the festival provides London’s multi-cultural community from all backgrounds and age groups, an opportunity to connect, break the barriers of misunderstanding and prejudice. Individuals will unite together against a backdrop of free entertainment, food, drink and social engagement; building up a groundswell of support to the message of UNITY and thus creating ‘Awareness’ about the concept of having FAITH in each other.
As part of TUFF’s ‘Reach Out’ programme, long term and sustainable initiatives are being considered with Schools and Universities to discuss the Unity of Faiths concept with plans to invite learned speakers to converse with and inspire the younger generation. TUFF will also hold a unique International Conference later this year, to be attended by international thought-leaders in the fields of empowerment, humanity and social cohesion, advocators of political and social dialogue for positive change, and personalities across entertainment, sport, popular culture and business. The purpose of the event is to provide a unique platform for ‘Dialogue’, to convey and share ideas and set actions for Unity in communities. Details of forthcoming programmes will be announced during the Festival weekend.
A response to the increased dissonance, cultural and religious divide that has estranged communities nationally and globally, TUFF, acknowledged by President Barack Obama and HRH The Queen, was launched with the mission to UNITE people and communities through the common factor of Faith, irrespective of religious belief, cultural or social backgrounds, and to subsequently create a more stable, tolerant and cooperative future for all. TUFF was the pioneering vision of the founders: Ms. Anna Prior, a former art dealer from Mayfair; Dr. Shamender Talwar, a Social Psychologist from West London and Mr G.S. Malhi, a successful entrepreneur from Southall, who joined them later. Speaking about the launch of TUFF, the Founders say:
“We believe through setting up initiatives at a community and grass-root level, we can build up a groundswell of support and action to the concept of having Faith in each other. This launch will not only witness the lighting of the inaugural Unity Flame, but will also set alight the conscious Flame of Unity to unite minds all around; igniting and launching various grass root projects for social cohesion and Unity in the Community”.
The TUFF Torch Ceremony on Friday 27th September takes place at The Centre, 1 – 23 Merrick Road, Southall, London, UB1 4AU. The Unity of Faith Festival, a completely free event, takes place in Southall Park on Sunday 29th September.