The upcoming consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22 has stirred concerns among parents in Pune. Apprehensive about their children's safety during the historic event, parents rallied for the Maharashtra government to declare January 22 as a holiday. Responding to the plea from the India Wide Parents Association, the government officially declared a holiday on Monday, bringing relief to concerned parents.
Expressing relief, a concerned parent shared, “I am pleased that the government took our concerns into account, and the declaration of a holiday is a reassuring step towards our children’s safety.”
The parents' association demand for a holiday stemmed from the anticipation of widespread processions and marches associated with the historic event, which raised concerns about potential disruptions to school operations, including traffic issues affecting educational institutions.
Another parent, requesting anonymity, stated, “I feared the religious angle might trigger controversy leading to conflicts between certain groups. Such incidents could disrupt school timings, endangering our children. Hence, we demanded a holiday on Monday for student safety, and we are relieved that our plea has been accepted.”
Anubha Sahai, president of the national association and child rights activist, confirmed submitting a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). On the state government's decision to declare a holiday, she said, “We urged the government to declare a holiday on Monday, ensuring smooth operations without any harm. It is a historic event, and on such a day, we just want the children to be safe and sound. We are glad that the government has finally accepted our plea and is considerate about students’ safety.”
A senior teacher from Nirmala Convent School in Kharadi, speaking anonymously, shared, “We are aware of the consecration ceremony and the potential gatherings on the road. We also want to ensure the safety of our children. And now that we have received the letter, we have declared a holiday.”
'Yet to receive official order'
Even though the holiday has been declared, cross-checking with state education authorities at the time of reporting revealed that they have not yet received any official communication. Mahadev Jagtap, assistant administrative officer in the education department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said, "We are yet to receive an order from higher authorities. As soon as it comes, we will declare a holiday for Monday."