With religious intolerance becoming common in our society, Ahmedabad’s Kalorex Future School in Ghatlodia set an example by promoting secularism and tolerance through student engagement. Recently, as a part of Eid celebrations at the school, a Muslim student, wearing a skull cap, was asked to offer Namaz in the morning assembly to share with fellow students how Islamic prayer is performed. Following the prayer, he led four Hindu students in a rendition of “Lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri”, as the five raised their hands to seek dua and sang in unison.
As the school showcased the video of the activity live, most parents echoed the same sentiments and lauded the school’s initiative to foster harmony. They felt the need to familiarise students with diverse religious practices, prayers, and related narratives. However, a section voiced its preference for a primary focus on Hindu festivals and teachings of Sanatan Dharma.
The school authorities said information about religious occasions and celebrations were a common way of introducing young students to other faiths and culture- be it through prayers or other activities.
“For the past two years, we’ve been employing festivals, be it Ganesh Chaturthi or others, as mediums for promoting secularism through assembly celebrations. For instance, during Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi, students and parents are encouraged to come prepared to engage in the respective festivities,” a school official said.
“In Eid, the prayer was led by a Muslim student, while others, dressed in Pathani by their parents’ choice, joined in. We keep parents informed about upcoming celebrations, allowing them to voluntarily dress their children according to the occasion. During Ganesh Chaturthi, for example, we had ten students from different religious backgrounds dressing up as Ganesh to participate in the celebrations,” the official added.