Government school students to worship parents in Jharkhand
Government school students in Jharkhand are likely to “worship” their parents at least once a year as part of their curriculum from the next academic session.
State education minister Neera Yadav has asked the school education department to work on a project to hold an annual “Matri Pitri Pujan” ceremony at about 40,000 schools run by the government.
“The idea is to instil respect in children for their parents. Respecting parents is part of our culture and we plan to hold an annual function at schools to celebrate this relationship,” Yadav said.
The idea stems from neighbouring Chhattisgarh, where the state’s the BJP government officially declared Valentine’s Day as Matru-Pitru Divas, or Parents Day, in 2015. This was seen as an effort to prevent children from celebrating Valentine’s Day, which many people detest as a damaging import from western culture.
But Yadav said she drew inspiration after witnessing an event in a government-aided school in which children worshipped their parents with Aarti and garlands. She was referring to an event at Lota Nayak High School in Giridih district’s Dhanwar block on November 20.
A day for the Matri Pitri Pujan in 2018 will be fixed soon.
Jharkhand school education and literacy secretary Amrendra Pratap Singh confirmed that the department has received the minister’s directive and was working on it. “The project is still at an infancy stage,” he said.
Sources from the department said the date for the event was not decided, but schools across the state will participate on the same day.
The Jharkhand Parents’ Association (JPA) welcomed the move and thanked the minister. The group’s members said the initiative was needed to preserve Indian culture, which was gradually losing ground to western influences.
“I hope the idea doesn’t remain a concept and is actually practiced in all schools,” said Ajay Rai, president of the JPA.
Over five million children study in government schools in Jharkhand and the majority come from villages and urban slums.