National Hindu Students Forum (UK)

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Three Aum’s for the Redbridge Hindu Community!

By Miten Kana
NHSF Learning Tea
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Redbridge borough, located in the north-east sub region of Greater London, is home to a diverse and lively community. The Hindu population of Redbridge is a little over 8% - by no means a majority, but with due respect representative of a very hardworking, welcoming and vibrant community.

So when a Jewish primary school soon to be vacated in Redbridge was opened up to bidding, I Foundation and the Hindu community ceased the opportunity to be able to share the thousands of years of teachings and philosophy that have made them such a hospitable and principle-led community, to give something back to the borough.

It was by no means a walk in the park; with competition from Redbridge Council and Al-noor foundation, the bidding was intense. But through the sheer hard work and true light of unity highly publicised locally by the community including members of NHSF (UK), on Tuesday 10th May 2011, the independent adjudicators gave the go ahead to the I Foundation to open Redbridge’s first Hindu ethos school.

The local community was ecstatic- the prospect of being able to send their children to a school which was based on the principles that have been in existence for thousands of years, designed to encourage the minds of tomorrow to think deeper, be led by righteousness and always look at the bigger picture was incredible. There is no secret that an ongoing debate continues to perplex society, as to whether faith schools are a positive influence for children, but it is paramount to remember that this is not a faith school in the literal sense; rather it is a school built up on Hindu ethos, the same ethos that built a solid community that has been sustained for thousands of years. This ethos includes the practice of yoga, meditation and a vegetarian diet- all scientifically proven to benefit an individual and society as a whole- which are all to be included in the curriculum, alongside the regular syllabus of maths, English, science, art and music. The I Foundation has a successful track record with Hindu schools, most recently at the Krishna Avanti school opened in Harrow.

The Hindu way of life has brought about some of the greatest and most profound teachings known to man; science, medicine, mathematics, health, politics, philosophy, duty – the list goes on, all passed down from great teachers over thousands of years, all of which is relevant and still in use today the world over. Well known scholars and academics from Erwin Schrodinger the theoretical physicist, to the American author Mark Twain and even Atheists such as Richard Dawkins have all commented on the practical and developed nature of Hindu teachings.

The school will officially open in September 2012. 75% of the places will be allocated on a non-faith basis, thus opening the gates for people from all backgrounds, regardless of faith, to experience and benefit from the core principles of the Hindu way of life. Pupils of the school will develop in to the great minds of tomorrow, upholding Dharmic principles that will benefit the greater good of humanity, through selflessness and truth.

Looking to the future, the I Foundation has already begun bidding for a secondary school in the Harrow area. This will cater not only for pupils who have studied at the primary school, but for older pupils who have seen the success of the primary and also want to be a part of the excellence that a secondary school will bring. As for Redbridge, it’s still early days, but undoubtedly there are plans in the pipeline for a secondary school in the borough as well.

So a big thank you to I Foundation and the local community for their tireless efforts to promote the need for a Hindu Ethos school. The future is most certainly bright.

For more information on other projects planned, please visit and register your support at http://www.i-foundation.org

“There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction....The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.” – Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), Theoretical Physicist.

“India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soul.” – Mark Twain (1835-1910), American writer.

“Hinduism and Buddhism offer much more sophisticated worldviews (or philosophies) and I see nothing wrong with these religions.” – Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary scientist and leading atheist.