January 26, 2014

The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) and Indian NGO Routes 2 Roots launch Exchange for Change 2013 – 2015 in India


Joint peace initiative with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan to connect 5000 students 

across 6 cities will be the largest in the World

[New Delhi, January 16, 2014] In an attempt to foster friendship, change mindsets and bridge the gap 

across borders, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan and Routes 2 Roots launched “Student Exchange 

for Change program, 2013-2015” on 15th January 2014 at Hotel Grand, New Delhi, Vasant Kunj. 

Mr. Kapil Sibbal (Honorable Minister, Govt. of India) inaugurated the program and shared his thoughts 

on the same. H.E. Mr. Salman Bashir, High Commissioner Pakistan in India and Indian film actress 

Juhi Chawla also graced the occasion and congratulated founders of Routes 2 Roots NGO on this 

commendable initiative to unite the two nations. The launch witnessed the presence of diplomats, 

principals & children from the participating schools as well as those children who were part of the EFC 

programme in earlier years.

This third round of the Exchange for Change initiative is set to be the World’s largest initiative of its kind, 

expanding in scale with the participation of 5,000 students from 25 schools in 6 cities across the two 

countries. Children are all set to spread love, harmony and peace through regular exchange of letters, 

postcards and other content. Schools from Delhi, Mumbai, Dehradun (INDIA) and Lahore, Karachi 

and Rawalpindi/Islamabad from Pakistan will participate in the project. 

Ms. Juhi Chawla said, “Today I am proud to be part of Routes2Roots and I am glad that I am witnessing 

the launch of the world’s largest oral histories exchange program between India and Pakistan with more 

than 5,000 students participating directly, and indirectly many more who get involved in the program like 

their friends, families & neighborhoods during the oral histories segment.” 

H.E. Mr. Salman Bashir said, “I was glad to be part of exchange for change program being arranged 

and hosted by “Routes2Roots” and “The Citizens Archive of Pakistan”. I had the pleasure of hosting the 

children visiting India from Pakistan to the High Commission in Delhi and then to my house in the last 

Exchange for Change Program. I was deeply touched and impressed by the efforts of the organization.” 

Mr. Kapil Sibbal (Honorable Minister, Govt. of India) lauding the efforts of Routes2Roots and CAP in 

bridging the trust between India and Pakistan through their unique program “Exchange for Change” said, 

“I am also glad to learn that this has been going on since 2010 & the milestone achieved is worth noticing 

with all seriousness.” 

Ms. Swaleha Alam Shahzada, Executive Director CAP said, "So far 4,900 students from across 

Pakistan and India have participated in EFC and a further 5,000 will now participate in EFC, which 

has become the largest oral history student exchange program in the world. What these students 

have achieved in a matter of months is what nations hope to achieve in decades - Change. They have 

dispelled misinformation and the distrust between the two nations. EFC is a testimony of the change that 

the Pakistani and Indian Youth want."

Mr. Rakesh Gupta, Founder, Routes 2 Roots said, “After achieving a spectacular response to our first 

& second “EXCHANGE FOR CHANGE” program, we look forward to “Exchange for Change- III” which 

will connect a much larger pool of children, schools and cities this time. The third phase of “Exchange for 

change program” would help in bringing a positive shift in mindsets of the people in both the countries, 

especially the children, with more than 5000 school children directly and their families and friends shall 

be involved making it the world’s largest oral histories program. We have also created Alumni for the 

participatory schools from last project, so that students and teachers shall always be the part of it, and 

also form a legacy by way of a blog www.efcprogram.blogspot.com”

A real and lasting change in the relationship between the two countries can only brought about by 

altering the ingrained mindsets of the people on both sides of the border; Students Exchange for Change 

(EFC) will help the students in strengthening the bond between people from across the borders. This 

unique program will change the perspectives and opinions, hence lead to a better understanding about 

cultures, habits, and rituals through 14 months of communication. This program will aid to narrow the 

differences and promote the peace across the borders through facilitating the exchange of positive 

This endeavor will enable students to familiarize with each other’s history, culture & lifestyle across 

Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi from Pakistan and Delhi, Mumbai and Dehradun from India. During the 14-

months of the Exchange for Change program, a sustained exchange of written, visual & oral histories 

with school children aged 10-14 years from 6 cities, 25 schools with more than 5,000 children will take 

place, culminating with physical exchange of select children from both the countries to visit each others’ 

country and the schools. 

PARTICIPATING INDIAN SCHOOLS: DELHI Schools - The Bloom School, Delhi Public School and 

Dev Samaj School. MUMBAI School - Diamond Jubilee High School, Shindewadi Mumbai public 

School, Abhudaya Nagar Public School, Globe Mill Passage Municipal School, The Cathedral & John 

Connon Middle school, Euro School and The Bombay International School. DEHRADUN Schools - The 

Doon School, Welhems’ Girls High School, Kasiga School, Doon International School, Him Jyoti School 

and PYDS Learning Academy. 

PARTICIPATING PAKISTANI SCHOOLS: LAHORE - Bali Memorial Technical High School, Haleem 

Campus, LGS Paragon and Sanjan Nagar Public School. RAWALPINDI - Ehsaas Foundation School, 

Global System of Integrated Studies (GSIS), Silver Oaks School and St. Mary’s Academy. KARACHI - 

Dawood Public School, Haque Academy, Aisha Bawany Academy and Bay View Academy.

About Students Exchange for Change 2013-2015: Attempting to bridge the divide and create 

friendship in the minds of our young children which shall soon be developed into a positive attitude 

at the decision level when these children grow up. “Exchange for Change 2013-2015” aims to create 

awareness of the cultures, similarities, and diversities, encouraging sustaining relationship among the 

children for a peaceful tomorrow. During the 14-month exchange for change program, activities planned 

are, Letter exchanges, Charts, Posters, Postcards, Visual and oral histories exchange with sharing 

histories as heard from their elders and finally culminating with the visit of select children and teachers 

from all the schools to both the countries. The age group of participating children is 10-14 years, and this 

year Dehradun has been added from India in this program in addition to Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi, Lahore 

and Rawalpindi.

About Routes2Roots: Routes 2 Roots is a Delhi-based Non-profit organization, constantly striving to 

bridge the socio-cultural distance between India and the world through Music, Art, Culture, Heritage and 

People to People Exchange programs. Routes 2 Roots are a member of World Association of NGOs, 

New York, USA. Routes2Roots, an NGO based in Delhi, with a small beginning but a big vision, vision 

to bring the world closer and bridging the cultural and social gaps that are in the hearts and minds of 

the people from different countries. Routes 2 Roots aims at promoting Cultural Diplomacy across the 

world, and has hosted numerous cultural events in more than 12 countries and 30 cities promoting 

people to people understanding for sustainable PEACE. Routes2Roots provides platforms to artists and 

performers to display the culture and heritage of their countries resulting in bridging the cultural gaps by 

enhancing tolerance among the people of different nationalities, culture, caste, and creed. 

Website- www.routes2roots.com Facebook: Routes 2 Roots NGO

About CAP: - The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural 

and historic preservation, operating in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. We seek to educate the 

community, foster an awareness of our nation’s history and instill pride in Pakistani citizens about their 

heritage. Our organization has three main goals; to preserve and provide access to the archive, to 

build and support educational programs and to develop educational products based on the testimonies 

collected. Our vision is to develop CAP as the foremost museum and heritage centre of Pakistani history, 

photography, culture, literature and historical documentation demonstrating the strength and spirit of 

Pakistan from the perspective of a citizen.

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