Muslim girl who won Gita chanting competition forced to change school by clerics

New Delhi: In an environment poisoned by incidents of communal hatred and violence, few individuals come across as hope for religious harmony and a better future. Among these is a Muslim girl named Firdaus from Odisha who made headlines and got a lot of love for securing first position in a Geeta chanting competition.
But in what can be described as a tragic turn of events, the student of Sovaniya Sikhyashram, who outperformed 55 others in the contest, has been forced to change her school. Her mother Arifa Bibi told the New Indian Express that she was withdrawn from school following a diktat from local clerics.
Most of the girl’s relatives and the clergy had expressed displeasure at Firdosh reading the ‘Gita’. Eventually her father who works in Saudi Arabia also instructed his wife to admit Firdaus and her brother to another school.
A local cleric told the daily that the decision to pull out the children from Sovaniya Sikhyashram was right alleging that they were forced to recite the Gita every day. He added that a school should give moral education and treat everyone as equal but Firdaus’s school was giving religious education.
The girl from Kendrapara town had won the competition in March and her mother had expressed happiness over Firdaus’s success.

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