Locals in Kashmir hail the decision to name school after this icon

Locals believe that this gesture will serve as a connect between Kashmir's glorious past and the hoped tomorrow of communal harmony.

IANSUpdated: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 09:12 PM IST
article-image
Sarwanand Koul Premi |

Srinagar: The decision to name an educational institution after a local icon by the Union Territory administration has received praise.

Naming the institution after the late poet, teacher, intellectual, freedom fighter, and social activist, Sarwanand Koul Premi's name has rekindled memories for the residents.

Locals believe that this gesture will serve as a connect between Kashmir's glorious past and the hoped tomorrow of communal harmony.

Sarwanand Koul Premi and his son Verinder Koul, 27, were killed by the militants in April 1990 after they were abducted from their home in Soaf Shali village of Anantnag district.

Premi had ignored the advice of friends to migrate out with the beginning of the militant violence in Kashmir.

As his friends often recalled, he believed in the goodness of Kashmir. He believed that as a teacher and social worker, who had devoted his life to the welfare of his village, how could anyone harm him and why.

Premi wrote about two dozen books. He translated Bhagwat Gita and Tagore's 'Gitanjali' into Kashmiri language.

His prayer room in Soaf Shali village had the Bhagwat Gita and the Quran placed side by side.

32 years after he was killed by the militants, the UT government has named the Soaf Shali Higher Secondary school in Kokarnag area of Anantnag district after Sarwanand Koul Premi.

The renaming of the school after such an illustrious son of the soil, who was killed because he represented the eclectic, tolerant and Sufist culture of Kashmir, has been welcomed by all locals of Soaf Shali village and the entire Anantnag district.

"It was long overdue. Sarwanandji had become an icon of our village. The naming of the school after him will become a connect between our glorious past and the hoped future of coexistence," said Ghulam Ahmad, a resident of Soaf Shali village.

Rajinder Premi, son of Sarwanand Koul told IANS, "It is a great honour although belated. The deputy commissioner of Anantnag had recommended naming of the village school, primary health centre and the district library in Anantnag town after my father."

"Anyway, we welcome the decision. The locals of the area including former legislators have requested that the Lt governor Manoj Sinha should personally do the honours in presence of late Premi's family when an official function is held to rename the school. I as his son and other members of the family promise to be there if the hon'ble Lt governor decides to attend the function," Rajinder said.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Governor constitutes Search Committees for selection of Mumbai, Pune and Sanskrit University VCs

Governor constitutes Search Committees for selection of Mumbai, Pune and Sanskrit University VCs

Mizoram: Over 6,000 children from Myanmar studying in schools across state

Mizoram: Over 6,000 children from Myanmar studying in schools across state

After Chandigarh, Kanpur hostel girl students allege staff filmed them bathing

After Chandigarh, Kanpur hostel girl students allege staff filmed them bathing

Secondary education will reduce child marriages, according to UNICEF

Secondary education will reduce child marriages, according to UNICEF

CUET PG 2022: Application correction window open again; Know how to edit

CUET PG 2022: Application correction window open again; Know how to edit