October 2nd is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday and a very important day of celebration in India. Gandhiji is known as the Father of the Nation and his propagation of non-violence helped India achieve independence in 1947. This is usually a national holiday, but Oct 2nd fell on a Sunday, so observances were held on Monday. KHEL kids were reminded of this special day by their teachers.
The Festival of Navratri was also observed. Children who celebrate this occasion were allowed a holiday. This is the nine days of worship and honor of the Feminine principle and the glory and power of Motherhood.
October is the month of festivals in India: The popular Festival of Lights - Deepavali or better known as Divali will be celebrated on Oct 26th. We wish all readers a very Happy Divali.
International News: Toronto, Canada: Following a visit and meeting of Ammaji (Mrs. L. Arya) and Mrs. Stomya Persaud in Toronto with friends and donors of KHEL in July, a barbeque was arranged at the home of Ms. Anne Raghurai with the help of Dr. Advaita Manohar to raise awareness for KHEL. Mrs. Sharada Bhajan did a presentation explaining the work of KHEL charities in education and social upliftment in Dehradun, India.
Minneapolis, MN USA: Stand Up, Speak Out (Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 7-8:30pm, The Blake School, Northrop campus): The Justice League welcomed people from the Twin Cities to a special program in conjunction with the anti-bullying initiative Stand Up, Speak Out! Students from Blake and surrounding schools presented a night of networking and connections that included a club/group fair, performances, stories and education about bullying and its prevention. This effort is by students, for students.
Dharani Persaud, grand daughter of the Founder of KHEL and daughter of Hem & Stomya Persaud, (Director, KHEL) is quoted as saying: "You have to assert yourself in a way that is not harmful to anyone in the situation," she said. "Addressing [a bully] with an aggressive attitude is not the best way to do it because they'll just be more aggressive. Maybe they just need someone to talk to. They're not always the bad guy." We hope that such efforts are also sustained in India where eve teasing and ragging have cost many lives.
Members of Blake's Justice League meet on Oct. 6, 2011, in Minneapolis to plan Tuesday's "Stand Up, Speak Out" event. Experts say such student-led efforts can be effective in changing the culture within a school. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)