Jammu : Catholic Social Service Society (CSSS) of Jammu & Kashmir in association with Caritas India and Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar Education Society celebrated the International Peace Day at Carmel Convent School, Jammu which saw participation of several educational institutions across the state that came together to spread the message of peace.
The event was glorified with the valued presence of Sh. Danesh Rana, IPS, IGP Jammu Zone, who was the Chief Guest for the occasion and Mrs. Chandra Gupta, KAS who was the Guest of Honour. The colourful and impressive function began with the ceremonious welcome of the dignitaries by the school band followed by rich tributes to the soldiers martyred in the militant attack in Uri.
Welcoming the dignitaries, guests and students from various institutions, Fr Shaiju Chacko presented a historical overview of the origins of International Peace Day which provides a globally shared day for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.
A soulful prayer dance set a prayerful atmosphere to the event which witnessed participation from varied institutions namely Department of Social Work, Central University of Jammu, St. John’s Rehabilitation Centre, Mandal, Holy Cross Convent School, R.S. Pura, St. Peter’s High School, B.C. Road Jammu, St. Joseph’s School, Arnia, Christ School, Poonch and Nirmala School, Kaleeth.
The function was marked by colorful programs including dances, skit and speeches along with the exhibition of the art masterpieces created by the students as a part of an inter-school competition to celebrate the day. The cultural extravaganza was followed by pledge for peace by all the dignitaries and participants
Speaking on the occasion Mrs. Chander Gupta, KAS stressed on the need for peace and value education in schools. She termed growing intolerance a threat to the upbringing of children and called for resolute efforts by teachers to educate the students about brotherhood and solidarity.
In his inspiring message to the students, Sh. Danesh Rana, IPS, IGP Jammu Zone, appreciated the moral values enthused by Convent schools. He remarked that merely the absence of war does not ensure peace and peace must spring from within. After commending the students for their outstanding performances, Sh. Rana appreciated the role played by the Catholic Social Service Society in spreading the message of peace, which indeed is a need of the hour.
The celebration also coincided with the launch of Maitri Abhiyan under the aegis of CSSS. Elaborating on the project, Fr. Shaiju Chacko stated that the project, supported by Caritas India, is part of a campaign to spread message of peace, oneness, solidarity and harmony in the minds of children and thus create a culture of peace. Peace clubs consisting of 30-35 students form the core of this campaign wherein students receive training and mentoring in life skills and leadership skills aimed at improving their understanding of cultural differences and to help them develop trusting relationship and begin friendship across or beyond their ethnicity.
The programme drew to a close with a formal vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Tongpang but the message of peace and love continued to reverberate in the vicinity.
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