"Know Your Elders" a unique initiative launched by a government school in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir helps young minds to grow and get benefit from the experience of the elders.
From last few months, the students of Government Girls Middle School Onagam Bandipora have been meeting the local elders under the "Know your elders" programme.Stories that elderly peoplenarrate have a positive impact on the young minds.
"As is true of old times, elders were cared for, consulted, loved and respected by the society. However, with the turbulent changes, the connection between elders and youngsters is dwindling. I tried on a lower level to bridge the gap. I invited some of the elders of the village to our school and in some cases, with our children we went to some elders houses," Javid Ahmad, Headmaster of Government GMS Onagam said.
The main aim of the initiative is to introduce the children to the elders as well as to benefit them from their experiences. And also, to make the elders feel the society values them so that they may not feel deprived in old age, Javid said.
He said under the "Know your elders " program, a group of students went to meet an eminent elderly man, Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, a 93 year old man whose advice benefitted students a lot.
"We took a group of some students and went to the house of prominent senior citizen, Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, a man born in 1929 who passed his 10th examination here through Lahore University, having a good knowledge of history. This meet helped students to gain a huge amount of knowledge and also the old man was extremely happy to see the children", Javid said.
The Headmaster said that elders are like the roots of the tree and they hold the society firmly at all times and make them strong. They are the ideal mentors and from all the experiences they have accumulated over the years, they can judge a situation and give constructive advice to the society.
Faizan Farooq, an 8th class student while sharing his experience of meeting Bhat said,"I was lucky to meet such a humble and intelligent man. He shared his experience with us. He showed his some of his torn pages of poetry which was written in Kashmiri language.”
A local of the area Rashid Javid said, "We highly appreciate this initiative. The school is in a village and we were not expecting such things from this small institution. But the way staff especially Headmaster Javid Ahmad explores new ways of teaching are highly recommendable."
Another resident, Khursheed Ahmad Mir, whose two kids are studying in the school, said, "We are very thankful to Javid Sir, the headmaster of this school who really cares about the future of our children. He is taking such great initiatives which gives our children the courage to to learn new things in life."