Celebrating India’s Independence with Khelshala

To celebrate India’s 66th Independence Day, fifteen Khelshala children along with Satinder Bajwa, Founder & Trustee of Khelshala, Rajshekhar, Legal Advisor and myself were graciously invited by Ms. Kavita Das, Principal of St. John’s High School in Chandigarh to mark the occasion.

Khelshala students, Mr. Bajwa, Founder & Trustee of Khelshala, Rajshekhar, Legal Advisor, Ms. Kavita Das, Principal, Ms. Rashi Sethi, Teacher and myself.

Khelshala students, Mr. Bajwa, Founder & Trustee of Khelshala, Rajshekhar, Legal Advisor, Ms. Kavita Das, Principal, Ms. Rashi Sethi, Teacher and myself.

The ceremony began with the school’s junior cadets marching us to the flagpole where upon Mr. Bajwa hoisted the Indian flag. Thereafter, St. John’s School students put on array of music, dances and treats. Pooja, one of our Khelshala students proudly spoke to an audience of 250 students, staff and parents about the significance of the day followed by Mr. Bajwa who reminded students that, “if you do good things, good things happen.” St. John’s School students’ skits and dances highlighted India’s multitude of cultures, languages and rich heritage of India while emphasizing the importance of gender equity, social tolerance and inclusion.

Personally, it was moving to connect with my “Indian-ness,” and be reminded that it is a part of me that I cannot forget.  Having been fortunate to have studied, lived and worked in multiple countries, I believe we should move beyond patriotism and celebrate our common values and humanity in an increasingly interconnected world.

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