Salesian school in Assam opts for multi-religious campus
By Matters India reporter
Silchar: A Catholic school in Assam state has used various religious symbols in a newly built facility to highlight multi-religious acceptance in an educational institution.
Holy Cross Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl on May 11 blessed the Don Bosco School Silchar Extension building while Salesian Provincial of Shillong Father George Maliekal unveiled the dedication plaque and inaugurated the building.
“The building has been erected to give vent to the ideology of proper growth of the mind, body and spirit. It’s a structure interwoven with a dream of providing the community an educational field where children will build their capacities and aspirations,” says School Manager Brother Reggy Joseph Cherukunnel.
He said the school aims to inspire and instruct its pupils in tolerance and harmonious living in a pluri-religius setting.
Present at the event were local legislator Aminul Haque Laskar, Cachar District Collect Lakshmanan S, and police chief Rakesh Roushan.
The special attraction of the new building is a spacious and serene prayer room where the students of any religion can go and pray. It has also a park dedicated to the major religions of India with life size statues to inculcate in students the importance to respect the faith of every individual.
“It is the intentional choice of the educative community to instill in the students, our traditional Indian core values of religious tolerance and harmonious inter-faith living,” Brother Joseph told Matters India.
The statues included goddess of wisdom Saraswati standing on a lotus pedestal, Mother Mary sitting and teaching child Jesus while foster father Saint Joseph stands by, Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak and a large mural of the Holy Shrines in Mecca.
“We have presented these religious scenes, to show the need for young minds to acknowledge the reality of multi-religious scenario and learn tolerance as an essentail aspect of education,” says Church Art Kolkata chief Subrata Ganguly, the man behind the execution of the concepts in fiber glass.
The new co-educational English medium school facility is set up at Sankarbasti village about two kilometers away from the existing 12-acre campus in Silchar town.
The earlier school opened in 2006, is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. Though established for the education of the Christian minority community, the school is open to all, irrespective of religion, caste or community.
The school has 120 teachers led by Father Joseph Nelson, rector and principal.
All the classrooms are digitized and fitted with CCTV cameras.
The school also manages a free evening school for some 450 marginalized and financially backward neighborhood children. Other than academic curriculum it also offers variety of co-curricular, skill-oriented activities like dance class, both classical and western, martial arts, music and various sporting activities.