Harrow Council Chamber was the appropriate venue for the first launch of DISCOVER JAINISM, the first ever book on the ancient Indian faith of Jainism that is aimed at schools in the UK. This is the first in the series LEARN JAINISM, initiated by the INSTITUTE OF JAINOLOGY.
The launch on 11th July was hosted by Harrow SACRE and attended by over fifty people representing heads of schools in Harrow, school governors, members of inter-faith and Council and SACRE representatives.
The launch was chaired by Mrs Martha Besser, Chair of Harrow SACRE, accompanied on the dais by the author of this book, Mr Colin Hynson and three Council representatives: Cllr. Navin Shah for Labour, Cllr Vina Mithani for Conservative and Ms Anita Luthra representing the Director of Social Services.
Chairman Mr Ratilal Chandaria and Secretary Dr Harshad N Sanghrajka represented the Institute of Jainology.
Mrs Besser opened the proceedings by inviting Jain Samnijis: Prasanna Pragya and Manan Pragya to recite Jain prayers with English explanation. Mrs Besser welcomed everyone on this important occasion and expressed pleasure at Harrow being the first Borough to launch DISCOVER JAINISM. She claimed that Harrow was rightfully well-known for diversity in its populace as well as beliefs.
Dr Harshad Sanghrajka addressed the gathering giving details of the activities of Institute of Jainology and summarising on their mission of spreading the word of Lord Mahavir on compassion for all life, non-violence and brotherhood, and the doctrine of pluralism through art, culture and education.
Colin Hynson, an experienced childrenâ€™s writer and educational broadcaster, explained the unique circumstances under which he authored this, the first book suitable for children in Jainism. He used the excellent projection facility to demonstrate www.learnjainism.org the website associated with the book. The website was specially designed for children to learn whilst having fun with quiz, crossword, searchword and puzzle activities online and at the same time providing valuable resource material for the teachers. This website is open to all.
Colin then invited the Chair and the Council representatives to receive and formally launch the book. Chairman Ratilal Chandaria joined the group and the book was formally declared as launched.
All the party representatives from the Council congratulated the Institute of Jainology and Colin Hynson for this sterling work. The importance of faith values to be taught to children was accepted and that Harrow was the first London Borough chosen for distribution of the Jainism pack was much appreciated.
Trustee, Mr Jaysukh Mehta presented the vote of thanks on behalf of the Institute and invited all to partake of refreshments in the Membersâ€™ Lounge.
All school representatives were presented with a Jainism pack containing the new book as well as additional literature on Jainism. Those schools which were unable to attend, will receive the pack by post in the next few days.
Provided by Harshad Sanghrajka
A note from someone who has purchased the book ~
Let me introduce myself. I am a teacher. We are often frustrated when we are required to teach Religious Education but the sources of information come from people who do not have correct knowledge of the faith that they have written about. We do not want to teach â€˜incorrectâ€™ information but we do not know about all the faiths in enough detail to teach them as if we followed them ourselves.
Have a think; how much do you know about your own faith if you follow one? Can you teach someone about the main aspects of it? The important rituals? Explain why things are done or not done? Can you imagine doing that about other faiths which you have even less knowledge about?
Jainism is less well known than Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. Thus this book is amazing. However, it is not JUST a great tool for teachers who work in schools but also for YOU. For you to teach members of your family or friends for example.
Author ~ a teacher who works in Harrow