Pune: On October 5, 2015, the pre-primary, primary and secondary students of St. Mira’s Schools, Pune observed World Animals Day in a powerful and unique way.
The day marks the anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi. The St. Mira’s schools observe it since many years, highlighting the saint’s love for all creatures with a display of placards, discussions and competitions.
Students made placards, chanted slogans as they walked around the Sadhu Vaswani Mission campus, orated speeches in their classes and participated in competitions.
With smiles of compassion, the students enthusiastically recited slogans; such as, “Stop All Killing” and “Animals are friends not food” as they partook in a walk around the school campus. When asked about St. Francis, the students talked about how he was a lover of birds and animals and even though he was the son of a rich cloth merchant, he chose the path of helping others. As secondary student, Gauri said, “St. Francis inspires us. Animals are our brothers and sisters. We should take care of them.”
Each placard was beautifully decorated with pictures of all types of animals and catchy slogans. Slogans included influential quotes, such as Mahatma Gandhi’s words “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” and catchy lines, such as “Be kind to save mankind” and “Shoot with a camera, not a gun.” The children, too, understood the significance of these words. A primary student, Pradnya, commented with her child-like faith, “If people hear these slogans, they can improve a little bit.”
The teachers also spoke of how observing this day brings about an awareness of animals rights to the students and their families. The officiating principal of Secondary School, Anjali Raghani, expressed, “This is to inculcate among the students the feeling of oneness, concern and care for the Lord’s creation. And trying to live up to the words of our Revered founder, Sadhu Vaswani – “Live and Let Live.”
“So long as we do not have compassion towards every living creature, so long there will not be peace on earth. Cruelly hardens our heart and blinds our vision and we see not that they whom we kill are our brothers and sisters in the one brotherhood of life,” says Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani, the Spiritual Head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission.
Through this observance of World Animals Day, students learn compassion for birds and animals. The St. Mira’s Schools provides a beautiful example of how to bring about this awareness in students.
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