3,000 schoolchildren apply healing touch in Ahmedabad

August 16th, 2008 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Aug 16 (IANS) Around 3,000 schoolchildren came together here at an Independence Day celebration with a difference, to apply the healing touch to a city still traumatised by last month’s multiple terror attacks that killed 55 and injured at least 150. The otherwise busy Law Garden Street was closed to traffic Friday evening and opened for 3,000 schoolchildren who danced and sang and played music and painted and watched magic shows and on and on.

Ahmedabad had been ripped apart by 21 bomb explosions within about 70 minutes July 26 evening.

“Yes, we wanted people to come out of the fear and scare that they were living in since July 26. No rainfall today (Friday) evening has added lot of fun after a three-day non-stop rain which had thrown the life out of gear in the city,” said Kiran Sethi, who organised the event.

Founder of the NGO aProCh, Kiran is a young National Institute of Design (NID) graduate who says that children need to be allowed to be seen, heard and talked about.

The event was organised by aProCh to commemorate one year of its programme ‘celebrating childhood’ on Independence Day.

Bollywood actor and social activist, Rahul Bose, was the ‘Friend of the Child’ at the event.

Five educational institutions of the city came together for it. Rachana School, Anand Niketan School, Manav Sadhna, Yuva Unstoppable and Riverside School had individually collaborated with the NGO to host five events in the past one year.

Friday’s activities included dance training, musical band, face and screen painting, tattoos, magic show by magician Rahul Raj besides a dais that provided a stage for performers who chose to show their talent.

Sethi said that aProCh would soon kick off its newest initiative TransforNation, ‘Power of Education’ through ‘Food For Thought’ programme and ‘Tees Ka Dum’ project.

Wearing a green T-shirt, Rahul Bose told mediapersons that he appreciated the efforts of Kiran Sethi and friends for introducing the concept of freedom to children and educating parents to gear up for a better tomorrow with better children psyche.

Bose said: “The city of Ahmedabad was deeply divided between Hindus and Muslims, rich and poor, vegetarians and non-vegetarians, Dalits and Brahmins.” He said that there was no room for such feelings in democratic India.

He said that his post-blasts visit to Ahmedabad was to show solidarity and togetherness at times of crisis.

Bose felt that “the need of the hour was to bring children closer to each other, Hindu kids must go to their Muslim friend at least on occasions like Eid and Muslim children must enter Hindu friend house on Diwali. There is total absence of information and knowledge about each other, the need is to cross that boundary and try to know each other”.

When asked if the people at Bollywood and other professionals had become thick-skinned to the cries of people in the wake of riots and blasts, Bose said: “No, I don’t think so, people and professionals out there are all concerned, worried and feel pain of it, but many of them feel helpless, while some have no clue as to how to go about helping and some choose to be quiet rather than to do anything. But, pain is felt by all in our country.”

Bose told IANS that the monetary help of Bollywood was on its way for Ahmedabad blast victims and would be brought in within ten days or so.

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