Indo- Pak teacher-student duo collaborate on dance for peace
DUBAI: A dubai-based teacher-student duo have collaborated over a dance to promote peace among Indians and Pakistani’s across the globe. The artists, along with their team, urge nationals to celebrate the unity in diversity between both nations and call for netizens to be kind in their choice of words when dealing with members of the neighbouring country.
The “Dance for Peace 2020” is being released ahead of the 74th Independence Day of both countries. The idea was conceptualized by Desiree’ Francis, a former Pakistani radio presenter and marketer In Dubai. She has been closely related to Indo-Pak peace projects since 2008, with dance for peace being the second-of-its-type initiative in Dubai.
“Due to the Covid-19 scenario, I was a little apprehensive about the idea, however, when I approached my dance teacher Akshay for this, he was all up for the idea and took it up whole heartedly and suggested ways to do it limiting the number of people and keeping safe distancing and protocols in mind,” she said.
Akshay Dhoke is the co-founder and Head Choreographer of The Buzz Dance Studio (TBDS) in Dubai. He along with his partner Preeti Gadkary took up the cause of Dance for Peace the moment it was discussed with them.
“We welcome children and adults of all nationalities at our dance school. Music and dance for us is about an emotional connection that we aim to build in our students with the art. We don’t support any form of discrimination and inculcate values of kindness and tolerance, which I believe, is a must for any artist,” Preeti said.
The initiative The team also comprised editors Rocky Panesar and Sohail Khan of Super Dancer and The Kapil Sharma Show fame from Mumbai, India along with Majo Joy (performer) , Abul Basar (vlogger), Jasmine Saroia (makeup) , Ishan Modi and Sarfaraz Ahmed (support team) and Lenu Thomas (digital artist).
Sohail says, “I joined hands with Desiree aka Dj Dez on this because as an Indian, I am very loyal to my country but that in no way means that I should be unpleasant in my dealing with people of any other country. Respect for other human beings is important.”
It is also supported by Aman Ki Asha and Aaghaz-e- Dosti.
Aman Ki Asha is a campaign jointly started by two leading media houses, The Jang Group of Pakistan, and The Times of India in India. The campaign aims for mutual peace and development of diplomatic and cultural relations between the two nations in South Asia. It was established on 1 January 2010.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti was started in 2012 and it encourages volunteers to work for peace, particularly through peace education in both countries.
No entities charged any money in collaborating for this video.
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‘We are the Future of the World’: Indian Students reflect on Peace Programs
Three Grade 8 students of Ecole Mondiale World School – Nysa Devgan, Devarya Mehta & Merrill Saldhana have shared their experiences, and the experience of the entire grade 8 on exchanging cards and letters with children in Pakistan.
We are the Future of the World
“For us, by far the most enjoyable and important activity was writing cards to children in Pakistan through Aaghaz-e-Dosti, celebrating their Independence day. In the past we wrote cards to wish them on festivals, independence day and other celebrations; they seemed to enjoy our cards and wishes as they wrote back to us. We also enjoyed an interactive Skype session with them last year. In 6th grade we began started sending letters, writing back and forth to a particular student from a school in Pakistan, and we learnt that the students there were not actually very different from any of us.
They enjoy Bollywood films, cricket, Hindi music, just like any other student. We take pride in the fact that we did not let the partition come between our budding friendships and we treated them like any other friend. We’re hoping this would result in an undeniable friendship between the two nations, beginning with one school at a time. Even though several members of our grade were against the thought at first, they seemed to understand that these children are people, before “Pakistanis,” they are students before our enemies, they are humans, not our rivals. To put it simply, all we’re trying to do is make the world a better place because at the end of the day, we’re the future of the world.”
Nysa Devgan, Devarya Mehta & Merrill Saldhana
Grade 8, Ecole Mondiale World School
Same Nations, Same Challenges: 66 Years of Indo-Pak Independence
by Ravi Nitesh
India and Pakistan have completed 66 years of ‘independence’. In spite of happiness and pride, there is also a pain that owes itself to the separation of not only the societies but of hearts. We parted on our independence to lessen the ‘hatred’ and so this independence should have been the way towards a more happy society. It should have been a tool for making both of us progressive and for our relations, moving on the path of love and friendship. But we both lacked in making such a scenario. The duration of these 66 years was faced with some celebrated ups and many shameful downs. Now, after 66 years of these repeated shameful incidents and fluctuating relations, we both must understand our necessity for each other, we both must revive our relations with each other and we both must take steps together for each other in all possible ways, as the real meaning of being independent is being together and celebrating together.
Establishing a peaceful and harmonious society in both the countries is one of the most awaited tasks for both. For a common society, the independence is something that brings freedom to think and to act, creating employment and other opportunities, moving towards the path of development and making a peaceful, happy society with friends and neighbors. In context of a country, one extends this concept to make a happy society with friendly neighbors.
Today, after 66 years, we both achieved to some extent, ‘development’ in our nations, but what we lost and didn’t attend carefully is our mutual relations. Are the boundaries are more important than human lives? These 66 years of progress will be of no use if we are still not building paths on which we can move together.
When you and I are same, in culture, in language, in interests and in our values, then why can’t we match our steps together to make a change?
If we look at problems and challenges in both India and Pakistan, we will find similar challenges in both the countries. We both have our importance of being and represented as a successful country in the global world. On one side where India is important in terms of its central location in South Asia, Pakistan also has its role for not only South Asia but also with South West and Middle East regions. But to make these progresses, we must first try to solve our problems as it will let us concentrate on other issues. We must solve the issues deemed ‘controversial’ or leading to hatred in our relations. Both the governments must have responsibility to step up to build confidence building measures. Though they have started some through their peaceful meet and continuous follow ups and visits, but they must be enhanced and should survive the vagaries of troubled times. One strategy that governments can follow is to include people’s representation with larger scope. It is necessary for both the government that they must provide a safe and peaceful atmosphere to their citizens.
The common people or the non-state actors must not face the problems of fluctuating relationships of the countries. We all have right to live happily and no one should be allowed to take our rights. India and Pakistan societies are very much similar, we both belong and like the culture that we developed and lived together for so many years. Political boundaries must not be a tool to divide culture and love. Both the societies always desire to be in a rhythm of peace, joy and happiness.
After these 66 years, both the government must have a grand celebration in their countries, as well as some grand strategies for each other towards a better future, a future of love, trust and harmony, a future of people’s desire. We must now work for years of being together.
Ravi Nitesh is the founder of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and is in the core team of Aaghaz-e-Dosti