New Delhi, Sep.14 (ANI): Good education broadens your mind, helps you to look beyond stereotypes and stops you from being prejudiced. But there are some children who are denied education either due financial or social constraints.
Children of a school in New Delhi have brought together some illiterate women to educate them, and in the process of doing so the students are also helping bridge gaps between different communities.
Attending classes is a set routine for these kids, but there is something else they have added to their daily agenda.
Every day in the morning the students of Laxman Public School spare two hours to teach these women.
Under a social initiative project run by the school for the past 14 years, these women from various religious and social backgrounds have been coming here to learn how to read and write.
Be it Hindus, Muslims or members of any other faith these children have never differentiated between these women. And for these adult students, the school is like a second home and their fellow mates, a family.
"Literacy does not have any boundaries of countries, state or of caste or religion. It teaches us not to discriminate but to promote harmony, irrespective of where we live what we do and what society do we belong to," said Nishu Gupta, a student of the school.
The students have not confined their teaching only to books; they have found innovative ways of imparting and quizzing is one of them.
All these efforts have not only helped to improve their knowledge about the world, but also have united these women.
"It really doesn't matter that they are from different religions. In fact, you just feel that there are people who need your help, we must go out to help them learn, help them become self-dependent become self reliant, so religion and caste does not matter," said Sushruti, a student.
"I was an illiterate earlier, now it has been almost 15 years since I have been coming here and now I have reached at this level that I can now teach my children, I may not be able to teach English but I can easily teach Hindi to them and to the women in my community, reveals Munni Devi, a Hindu by faith and a beneficiary of the program.
Apart from learning to become a professional beautician, enhancing their stitching and embroidery skills the school also engages these women in mastering their skills in artwork.
Rangoli making - a traditional Hindu floor art, is a part of their non-formal education program. And such is the spirit of learning that both Hindu and Muslim women participate enthusiastically in it.
When I came here I didn't know how to read and write, the school facilitated us with learning all that, later we requested them to teach some vocational course, now I know how to stitch. The school has been quite helpful; it never differentiates anybody on grounds of religion. Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and even those economically deprived, all stay together and come here," says Kamla Devi, a Hindu by faith.
Well, communal amity is further exemplified at the community kitchen of the school, where these women give something in return to the students.
While preparing the meal, the students give a helping hand and learn some skills of home keeping from these married ladies.
"See I am a Muslim by faith but with me there are my sisters from all faiths. There are no differences between us. Now a days Ramadan (time for Dawn to Dusk fast) is going on but you can see I am busy preparing food for my sisters. Not only me, there are 2-4 other Muslim women here all are involved in this kitchen. Its not like this that if we are Muslims then we get involved in this," explains Shabnam, a Muslim.
"We get people from all the communities, that don't matter to us. They come here for vocational skills, and now some of them have started their own shops of beauty (parlor), embroidery, and we give admissions to their kid only, that's an incentive. If a mother becomes literate her child will be given a preference, ultimately is about being a good human being to be compassionate, to be loving and caring that's what we are all doing", says Usha Ram, Principal, Laxman Public School, New Delhi
Good relations between women from different faiths are a perfect way of showcasing multi-faith harmony. By Nitin Bhatia (ANI)