A housing society in Malad comprising around 100 families, led by women, came forward to support a Muslim family after a six-year-old girl from the family came back home crying because a couple of kids refused to play with her as she was a Muslim.
Last week, the children gathered in the play area at Royal Oasis society in Mumbai’s Malad West. Minutes after the little girl went to play, she came back weeping, claiming that she was taunted by some other kids for being a Muslim. The girl’s mother then wrote about her daughter’s ordeal in the society’s WhatsApp group. This prompted at least a dozen women to come out in her support. A few people personally met with her and said that they would not allow such behaviour in society.
The girl’s mother later visited the two children’s families, who claimed that their kids may have heard about such ideas from others. They claimed that the two children have been counselled so that they respect everyone.
Unity In Diversity
At a meeting held by the women of the society, they decided to sensitize their children so that such an incident is not repeated. To send out a message of unity in diversity, they decided to celebrate all festivals in society together. For Ganpati Visarjan this month, all of them assembled with their children in the common area.
“The kids are back to playing together. There is no animosity whatsoever,” Mumbai Mirror quoted the girl’s mother as saying, who added that the support she received convinced her that her children were “growing up in the right atmosphere”.
There are at least two housing societies in the area where people from only a particular community can buy or rent flats. In some other societies in the same area, residents are not allowed to cook non-vegetarian food at their home.
Compared to these, residents of the society where the little girl lives said that it was a “refreshing change” because it comprises residents of all faiths.
To make their children aware of different cultures, society’s residents are now planning to organise dinners and get-togethers. “Mothers are children’s first teachers and I want my kids to respect everyone. They should not grow up carrying any sort of bias,” said Rukshana, a resident.
With all the communal hate and violence being spread in the country, the society’s stance is worthy of appreciation.