Face to Faith Honours 23 Schools
08 Feb 2013
The Bahá'í House in India recently hosted the first-ever Face to Faith Award Ceremony in India for World Religion Day, which is celebrated across the world to promote understanding between the followers of all religions and faiths.
The ceremony honoured 23 Face to Faith schools from across India. They received certificates to recognise their excellence in teaching the programme, which connects students across the world via video-conferencing to improve religious literacy and equip students with the skills to resist extremist ideology and prejudice.
The ceremony was a time of celebration that included a performance by the Bahá'í choir and congratulations from guest speakers including: Mr Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India, and Mrs Maja Daruwala, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
Mrs. Simmi Kher, Face to Faith India coordinator, celebrated the achievements of the teachers. She said:
"It has been a truly exciting journey for The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, as Face to Faith has grown tremendously in India. I am extremely grateful to all schools for showing enthusiasm, support and involvement in Face to Faith. My dear Principals and teachers this celebration would not have been possible without your support at all.
"We have about 115 Indian schools enrolled in the programme and a waiting list of about 60 schools. All this has happened in a short period of 3 years. At the moment, we are working closely with the government of Tamil Nadu to spread the programme across all the 5000 schools there".
Mr. Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India, spoke to the gathered principals and teachers. He stressed the importance of spreading love in the name of religion and emphasised that religion should not be used as a means to spread hatred and crimes. Quoting from the Constitution of India, which includes the right of Freedom of Religion, he appealed to the principals and teachers to prevent prejudice by teaching students to be tolerant of others.
Mrs. Maja Daruwala, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, also took part. She said many people in India are afraid to discuss religion even through it is a religious country. She implored teachers to manage multiculturalism in order to help students learn to coexist peacefully.