Indian and Pakistani students sing songs, celebrate birthday and wish for a peaceful future: 14th IndoPak Classroom Connect

PRESS RELEASE

Indian and Pakistani students sing songs, celebrate birthday and wish for a peaceful future: 14th IndoPak Classroom Connect

Surat/Karachi: Amid the turbulent political relations between the two countries, people on both sides still looked for ways to build bridges to remove enmity and to break stereotypes as a process of peacebuilding. In its line of peacebuilding through programs of peace education in schools across Pakistan and India, Aaghaz-e-Dosti organised its 14th “Classroom to Classroom connect” program between students of Karachi city of Pakistan and Surat city of India on 5th May 2018.   

This classroom connect program was conducted in collaboration with Akhil Hind Mahila Parishad, Bruhad Surat branch from the Indian side and L2L (Learn to Learn), a Karachi-based commercial alternative school from Pakistan side. This classroom connection program connected around 150 students. On the Indian side, students were participants of summer camp in the centre while in Pakistan, students were participants of an activity learning school. The session was coordinated by Sagar Papneja of Aaghaz-e-Dosti Surat Chapter and Adnan Kudiya, a Karachi-based educator and activist working with #MainBolunGa, a social cause from Pakistan.

Before the connection was initiated, students on the Indian side were asked for their opinion about the neighbor country and they voiced some of the stereotypes and misconceptions. When asked for the source of their knowledge, they said parents, movies, and news. The coordinators gave them an analogy that they choose their own best friends and that their parents never tell them whom to befriend so then why shouldn’t they apply it here, in this case? They should choose their own friends and even foes by analyzing, talking to them and then deciding. They agreed.

The session began with national anthems of both the nations. It was followed by a discussion on summer vacations. The students interacted for an hour and asked questions about favorite food, movie actors, songs, school vacations, and much more only to realize that on both the sides everything was same.

During the session, students of both sides revealed their likes and dislikes and found that both sides loved many things similar. An Indian student asked to Pakistani students ‘Who is your favorite hero?’. Pakistani students replied ‘Fawad Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Salman Khan’. Then Indian student wondered ‘Fawad Khan! Tiger Shroff! they all are our favorites as well’. Another Indian student named Jhanvi asked ‘Karachi me kya famous hai?’ for which she got reply from a Pakistani student ‘Karachi ko city of lights kehte hain’ to which all Indian students became happy and eager to know more.

Then both sides together found that they both love faluda dessert, Afridi, Dhoni and Virat so much. In the lighter mode, both sides of students expressed how they hate school uniforms.

In a surprise move, when Pakistani sides of students got to know about the birthday of a student on Indian side, they wished and sang a birthday song for the Indian student that made the whole environment very emotional. During the concluding time of the session, students of both sides requested to extend the session for more time and also sang “swag se karenge sabka swagat” and “bahubali” song for each other. By the end of the session, the kids befriended each other and realized that across border the culture is same. They were no-more enemies rather friends with some positive future ahead. Their glowing faces with this first ever experience were expressing their happiness after meeting their peers.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a collaborative peace initiative of two voluntary organisations – Mission Bhartiyam (India) & Hum Sab Aik Hain (Pakistan), believes that students are future of these countries and have all the potential to build new bridges of peace and reconciliation that would pave the way for future.

Issued by

Aaghaz-e-Dosti

https://aaghazedosti.wordpress.com

 

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About aaghazedosti

Aaghaz-e-Dosti is an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and Hum Sab Aik Hain (Pakistan)

Posted on May 8, 2018, in Events and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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