Beyond the Borders: Indo-Pak, a Melton Fellow-led storytelling initiative, is a recipient of the Melton Foundation Action Grant for projects upholding our mission of Global Citizenship and intercultural collaboration.
Led by Melton Fellow Shravani Vangur, and literature major Sara Hassan, ‘Beyond the Borders’ is an innovative initiative that draws upon storytelling to create a platform for inspiring, diverse and unique narratives. Centered around the theme of bridging gaps and creating connections through personal narratives, ‘Beyond the Borders’ promotes and highlights the joy, goodness, and unity present in our world communities.
The storytelling venture is a 50+ story project showcasing unique narratives of true love and tolerance from the people of Pakistan and India. The goal of this campaign is to promote unity and friendship between everyday citizens and to ignite hope for a better future through heartfelt tales and perspectives!
The project is hosted by Lighthouse, a new-media enterprise founded by Melton Fellows Ashitha Nayak, Camila Huecho, and the team, and is transformed into reality by the Melton Foundation Action Grants. ‘Beyond the Borders’ seeks to collaborate across a fractious geographical line to actuate Global Citizenship and realize a borderless world!
By presenting the positive aspects of Indo-Pak relations through the use of narratives in many art forms, 'Beyond the Borders' brings in something for everyone. Listen to the Podcasts featuring special guests, read a collection of letter exchanges between pairs from each country, enjoy poetry and performances of mini stories by spoken word artists!
"Glittering kites now soar gracefully in the air, they have scratches of time marked on them but both are certain they will heal, and if the people below would work together again when in need, then they will certainly fly higher than before."
"I had never otherwise seen such diverging arrays of views for every aspect raised of this topic, and although I believed it is good to keep discussions open in order for commonality to be found, it is often that the points of the discussion get stuck on the same loops. "
"The mirror is not wrong, it shows a reflection of truth, it banishes the solid lines marking variations and blur differences that exist to contrast. The unique distinction still remains, but in a way that invites genuine curiosity and wonder. "
" We are one under our flags but together our flags show we are one under the same sun. Our colors may differ, yet our speech, our homes, tell a tale more connected than ever."
"The sherbs and the leaves
Mingle with ease, no one stops them
They have true freedom"
"Their young were told the stories,
their history wrapped in a bow
The path to the future had begun,
yet there remained fractures of old"
"They come bearing their hidden truths,
letting the ties be gently knit;
For Nature loves to take the gaps
and see them fill"
"They know how to connect with people. I love Indian movies. My favorite actor is Salman Khan and quite a few more! India has a rich history in dancing- I love traditional dances and want to learn as soon as we meet in person someday. "
"Additionally, whilst taking art, I fell in love with history. I also want to see Amber palace in Rajasthan and reminisce about the past royals and significant events which happened in the vicinity."
Melton Foundation Action Grants support Melton Fellows and teams to translate global citizenship into action. In collaboration with Ajoka Theater, Lahore, Lighthouse, and sponsored by the Melton Foundation, here is a childrens' theatrical play on Indo-Pak peace relations.
Little children from Chandigarh, India crossed the famous Wagha Indo-Pakistan border to workshop and rehearse with their Pakistani co-actors. Later the Pakistani kids paid a return visit which culminated in the premiere in Chandigarh.
The team then visited Pakistan to perform. Later in 2004, the play was revived by Ajoka in collaboration with the Springdale School, Amritsar, following the same process. The play was performed in Lahore, Islamabad, Amritsar and Delhi and attracted great media attention on both sides of the border. The bonds of friendship developed during the project led to long term friendships.
Meet Lighthouse - Storytelling for Change
Project HostRead Bio
Meet South Asian Peace Project
Meet The Writing Club Pakistan
Meet Letters to Strangers
Lighthouse is a non-profit media enterprise that aims to connect the dots across cultures through diverse, inclusive, and powerful narratives. Their community of authors, artists, and film-makers makes stories from distant cultures accessible to the common man.
Through interviews, videos, and podcasts, they provide a platform for citizens of the world, to spark change through daily life experiences and lessons!
Aaghaz-e-Dosti (lit. beginning of Friendship) seeks to enhance people-to-people relations. It seeks to become the medium to discover and recognise the misrepresented reality on the other side of the border. Aaghaz-e-Dosti was started in 2012 and it encourages volunteers to work for peace, particularly through peace education.
They join individuals and like-minded organizations to advance their mission!
A volunteer-run initiative bringing to the fore peacebuilding measures that remain dwarfed before the meta narrative of conflict.
The Writing Club Pakistan is a project that will provide people to express their feelings through ink without being judged. We will allow them to learn all kinds of writings without discrimination of Gender, Race, Cast, and Color. The Writing Club Pakistan was established in March 2020 and, it has years to come. This project aims to provide the common man an opportunity to learn the techniques and strategy of writing. The Writing Club Pakistan is looking forward to making people connected to learn and grow together.
Letters to Strangers (L2S) is a global youth-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit seeking to destigmatize mental illness and increase access to affordable, quality treatment for youth aged 13 to 24. We want mental health made personal, because each person deserves to be treated as the individual they are. No one’s identity should be buried beneath statistics. Indeed: often there is nothing greater than a person-to-person human connection.
Unlock 50+ stories in the archives of Beyond the Borders and delve into fresh connections, paradigms and perspectives!