Kya Dilli Kya Karachi: 6th IndoPak Classroom Connect
“The 6th Indo-Pak Classroom Connect” of Aaghaz-e-Dosti connected school students of Gyan Mandir Public School (Delhi, India) and Evergreen Schooling Systems Fatima Jinnah Campus (Lyari, Karachi in Pakistan).
The students were a mixed group from Grades 3 to 7. On both sides, the students were very enthusiastic to interact with their peers across the border. This session was co-ordinated by Usama Palla of Evergreen Schooling System in Pakistan and Devika Mittal and Madhulika Narasimhan in India. Ms. Anju Anand was the teacher co-ordinator from Gyan Mandir Public School.
Even before the commencement of the formal session, in the test call, when the Indian and Pakistan co-ordinators chatted, an Indian student expressed his surprise to the Indian Co-ordinator. He asked, “How was the Pakistani co-ordinator able to converse in Hindi? How did he learn Hindi?” He was informed that the spoken Hindi of India and spoken Urdu of Pakistan is very similar. Due to the popularity of Indian Movies in Pakistan also ensures that Pakistanis well understand Hindi.
The entire session was conducted in Hindi/Urdu. In the session, students began by exploring each other’s school – languages taught, about teachers and then moved on to explore each other’s country, culture and everyday life.
A Pakistani student told Indian students about Karachi, it’s culture. An Indian student had recited a beautiful poem about India, it’s rich culture and reasons for India being a source of great Pride for Indians.
When an Indian student asked what Pakistanis like most about India, among the most prompt response was “Indian Drame”. On further inquiry about their favorite serials, the Pakistani students listed to their Indian counterparts’ surprise, Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma and Bal Veer among other serials.
When a Pakistani student asked the Indian students about their favorite Pakistani cricketer, many Indian students immediately replied “Shahid Afridi”. Similarly, when Pakistani students were asked about their favorite Indian cricketer, they replied “Virat Kohli”.
Indian Students expressed their love for Atif Aslam with one student singing “Tajdar e Haram” and Pakistani students expressed their love for Arijit Singh.
An Indian student played on casio while others sang Saare Jahan Se Acha written by Allama Iqbal, the National Poet of Pakistan. This was followed by Pakistani students singing Dil Dil Pakistan.
In conclusion, the students of both India and Pakistan had sung their respective national anthems and both sides stood and paid respect for each other’s anthem.
The Teacher Co-ordinator of Indian School, Ms. Anju Anand expressed their desire to be connected to the Pakistani school and explore and conduct more of such peace activities.
After the session, a Pakistani student expressed surprise to learn the extent to which Indians and Pakistanis are similar. Mr. Usama Palla regarded this expression to be a source of hope and inspiration to continue to do such activities to nurture a peace generation.
“She is my strength, my love guru”: Story of Atiqa (Pakistan) and Abha (India)
As part of our call to share about their friend(s) beyond the Indo-pak Border, Atiqa Shahid from Lahore (Pakistan) share her story of friendship with Abha Jeurkar from Solapur (India):
“I met Abha last year when she came to Lahore (Pakistan) for a training on adult education which was being conducted by the organization that I am part of. Abha is a certified trainer for Play for Peace.
She belongs to Solapur in India. Currently she is working for Dalit community in collaboration with CSEI. She has such a strong and charismatic personality that I never felt that this was my first time to meet her. We became very good friends in just 15 days, in fact from the very first day. When both of us along with our other friends were roaming on the roads of Lahore, our laughs were the loudest. We have discussed almost everything during those days from patriarchy to peace.
She is my strength and also my love guru 😀 as she always told me that heart breaks and breach of trust may happen a lot but will heal eventually. She has taught me so many things including how to wear a sari and how important it is to be yourself.
I feel blessed that we are living in an era of technology as this allows us to communicate very often. I really miss her and long to meet her.”
If you have a story to share, send it at firstname.lastname@example.org
Indo-Pak Calendar launch in New Delhi
Date: 21st December 2013
Time: 2 to 5 PM
Venue: India International Centre, New Delhi
Despite similarities in several respects, the Indo-Pak relations have always been fluctuating. 2013 also saw several ruptures but despite these fluctuations, the bond that connects and shall always connect the people of the two countries has not gone. Every year, we, a people’s initiative, Aaghaz-e-Dosti (lit. Start of friendship), celebrate this bond with our “Calendar for Peace and Love”.
An initiative of India-based Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst – TC and Centre for Youth Development Activities, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, aims to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. The bonds that will survive the vagaries of troubles times. But these bonds will not be artificial ones, they rest on the belief and claim that people of India and Pakistan not only share the same language, culture, values and challenges but also the desire for peace and friendship. It rests on the belief that if there are people on both sides of the border who cannot and do not want to forget the past and do not want others to forget it, there are also people who want to forget the past and not just move on but move along to create a new chapter in history…of friendship and brotherhood.
And so, every year, Aaghaz-e-Dosti launches “Calendar for Peace and Love” that would remind us every day about these people. This is the second year of launch. The calendar with the paintings of an innocent and apolitical mind will remind us that mindsets have been constructed. The six paintings narrate the desire as well as need to bridge the gap for a happy and prosperous future. Together with the beautiful dreams of the young and innocent, the Calendar also has messages from people who have been actively working to nurture these dreams. This calendar is a collection of these shared dreams of peace and friendship. It serves as a hope shared by people who are just like us, in habit and struggle. With the turn of the pages to start a new month, the hope shall be renewed.
The Calendar will be launched along with a discussion or “Sharing of hopes for a peaceful and friendly co-existence” in both India(New Delhi) and Pakistan (Islamabad).
In the launch in New Delhi, our guest speakers include Sh. Pankaj Singh (Eminent Hindi Poet, He has extensively written on art, literature, cinema and international politics. His poems have been translated into Urdu, Bengali, English, Japanese, French, Russian and Polish.He is a member of SAARC Writers and Literature), Sonya Fatah (A Pakistani filmmaker and Journalist. She is a columnist with Times of India), Jawed Naqvi (Correspondent of Dawn Newspaper (Pakistan) in Delhi) and Dr. D.S. Rana (Chairperson of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was originally established in Lahore in 1921). There will also be two students from Pakistan studying in India to share their views and experiences.
The discussion is open to anyone. Launch will be organized at Islamabad also and the proposed date for Islamabad launch is 24 December 2013.
We invite your presence as we share our hopes and desire to create a new history of peace and friendship.
For any more information/query contact:
Ravi Nitesh 9958907799