Karachi: It isn’t a common sight to find a school running inside a temple. It is more uncommon to find a temple school running in Pakistan’s Karachi where Muslim teachers teach Hindu children belonging to scheduled castes.
According to a report by The News, the school was set up at a Hindu temple in Rehman Colony by the Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF), as the temple was literally the only available place to open a school. The NGO, however, first sought the permission of the local community before opening up the school in their place of worship.
Feel safe among Muslims
According to reports, Hindus in Rehman Colony live in unhygienic conditions with no potable water or even toilets. They also face a constant threat of being evacuated by the authorities. However, they feel safe when they see the Muslim community taking an interest in teaching Hindu children. According to a recent report by Al Jazeera, there has been a rise in land encroachment of Hindu temples and historic landmarks situated in Karachi.
Not just temples, even historic clock towers, and cinemas which have not received any maintenance whatsoever in years are in a dilapidated condition and being used as warehouses or makeshift vegetable markets. Sudden population boom, unplanned urbanization and the government’s lackadaisical approach towards preserving the cultural heritage have undone the charms of Karachi. However, this one little school is perhaps the only binding factor between the two communities.
They are taught basic courses
There are 93 Hindu children studying at the temple school. The teachers in the ‘temple school’ teach only basic courses to these children. Subsequently, these students are then sent to government schools in the city. The local Hindu community of Resham colony had tried to establish a school in the area several times but was unable to do so after the police demanded a hefty bribe from them.