Parents often feed their toddlers by scaring them with stories of men who take away bad children. From a very young age they are advised to not talk to strangers or take food from them. The mounting stories of violence towards children around us add to the woes. Our constant fear and suspicion about people is passed on to the younger ones. Take a pause. How far is our fear rational? In a constant act of protecting our children, how far have we thought about the kind of people we are neglecting? A quick rewind of all those faces- It might be that shabby man on the pavement begging for alms, it might have been that transgender woman near the railway station, it might also have been those children who come to sell trinkets when there is a red traffic signal. We have reserved our smile to people of our same social stature. We have forgotten to smile to those people less privileged than us.
St. Andrews School has always understood the social fabric and has tried to imbibe in children the values of equality. In a world where everyone is judged on the basis of their looks, we have tried to teach children to look deep beneath the skin and to see the real human. St. Andrews School tries to etch in the minds of children how caste and class are merely human made barriers. The children are also encouraged to take up social causes and work their tiny bit to making a better future. Charity funds, talks and assemblies are often conducted in the school towards this purpose. The school tries to inculcate in the children inquisitiveness to challenge the generalisations we as adults easily fall prey to. They will thereby question as to why a section of the society is exploited and ill-treated.
Open conversations among children are something we as elders should learn from. Their conscience is not clouded by any prejudices. We should learn to live more as a community and less as solitary islands. Throwing all the caution to the wind before total strangers and braving our children to harm is not intended. The school rather intends to make the younger generation more sympathetic and responsive to suffering around them.
St. Andrews School believes in the creation of a younger generation who are able to smile more. Smile creates a ripple effect. The happiness that shines through the children has immense power to bring changes. These acts of concern for fellow human beings can also create changes in the attitude of the elders. The scorn and suspicion with which we approach less privileged people will soon turn to a hopeful smile. We believe that shaping of these young minds create a better future as they pass on this ray of hope to their peers. The winds of change are not far away with these hopeful bright minds of St. Andrews school.