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Hindu-Sikh minorities lament lack of dedicated schools

Hindu-Sikh minorities lament lack of dedicated schools

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Sep 03, 2017 - 13:29

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): The Hindu and Sikh minorities living in southern Ghazni province have complained their children are teased and harassed by classmates in public and private schools and demanded separate schools for their children.

The minorities say the harassment of their children at local schools has forced them to stop sending their children to school.

They say they also wish to see their children becoming doctors, engineers, economists and legal experts, but their this wish seems unlikely to come true in the prevailing circumstances.

Sanpal Singh, a 16-year-old Sikh boy, whose family is living in Ghazni City, said he faced harassment from his classmates.

He said both Hindu and Sikh children were often beaten or insulted by classmates due to their religion.

“They misbehave or say we are infidels, why we (Sikh) don’t have faith in the Quraninfo-icon...it is not legitimate to live with you,” he quoted his classmates as bullying.

Mahesh, a Hindu boy student, told Pajhwok that he had quit school in the face of persistent harassment and now he used to study religion in the temple.

“Families (Sikh and Hindu) who are rich have enrolled their children in private schools, but there too the children are not spared.”

He said he was only taught religious educationinfo-icon at the mandar (worship place) but he had no option.

Sikh families living in Ghazni City say nothing clearly is mentioned in the Afghanistaninfo-icon laws about the rights of Sikh and Hindi minorities and that is why they face numerous problems.

Local representative of the Hindu-Sikh minority in Ghazni, Dalip Singh, said the minorities were not given the attention they needed in Ghazni province like other provinces.

He said their children were being harassed at local schools and that was the main reason behind their illiteracy.

He urged the government to set up dedicated schools for the children of Sikh and Hindu minorities in Ghazni and other province in order they could continue their education.

A few years back, a small dedicated government school was set up for the Hindu and Sikh minority children in Ghazni, but the school was damaged after being hit by a mortar.

“Since the mortar attack, children had stopped going to the school due to fear,” Dalip Singh said, warned of launching protests if their demand was ignored.

Ghazni Education director Mohammad Abid confirmed there was no dedicated government school for children of the Hindu and Sikh families in Ghazni province.

“There is one school where Hindu and Muslim children study together, I admit there are problems, we are trying to resolve them,” he said.

Abid said teachers had been instructed to convince and persuade students not to harass their Hindu and Sikh classmates.

Nearly 600 Hindu and Sinkh families are living in Afghanistan mostly in Ghazni, Kabulinfo-icon, Nangarhar and Paktia provinces.

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