Concept Note

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reimagine and restructure our lives and the way we think. It is time to rethink and reimagine the role that religion can play in promoting sustainable practices and development through interfaith solidarity.

We, at City Montessori School, believe that at the core of all the faith systems and traditions is the recognition that we are all connected, that we are one people, and that we need to nurture and support one another to live in harmony and peace in a sustainable world.

Our Earth and our world continue to be beset with so many seemingly insurmountable problems – environmental, health, social security, poverty, inequities and humanitarian – that solidarity, mutual understanding, appreciation, and tolerance of other people, their faiths, denominations, cultures and ways of life become an imperative. It is therefore absolutely essential to develop harmonious cooperation between the world’s different faiths and religions.

The need for spiritual guidance has never been greater. It is more important than ever before to accelerate our efforts to spread the message of partnership and solidarity based on our common humanity. Therefore, the engagement of teachers who are the custodians of culture plays a significant role as the transmitters of morality and attitudes, in imparting these values to the future citizens, who have a World-embracing vision.

The Interfaith Harmony Conference provides one such opportunity to consider the significant challenges facing the world. Convening and connecting the Interfaith Community is a means to encourage global cooperation and understanding which is the need of the hour.

Some questions to be explored in the conference:

  1. How can education mould the minds of the future generations towards religious tolerance, acceptance and respect?
  2. Should schools be used as training grounds for development of Interfaith Harmony? If yes, how?
  3. How can Interfaith Dialogue be useful in redefining the role of religious leaders in helping to overcome the challenges and create a New World?
  4. How can common understanding of “be even as One Soul” bring solidarity?
  5. What have been the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Interfaith harmony in communities?
  6. How important is the role of Interfaith Harmony in Sustainable Development and building sustainable communities?

THEME OF THE CONFERENCE:
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SOLIDARITY

The Theme of “Sustainable Development through Solidarity” has been curated to address the following goals:

  1. Promote collaboration between different social agents to create an environment of Peace & Sustainable Development
  2. Care for the environment combating climate change and protecting the oceans and land ecosystems
  3. Reduce inequality in the world, especially that concerning gender, race and religion
  4. Support the generation of development opportunities through inclusive education and decent work
  5. Universalize access to basic services for enhancing sustainable energy
  6. Foster innovation and resilient infrastructure, creating communities and cities able to produce and consume sustainably

Keeping up the tradition, CMS Asharfabad campus is organising the First Virtual Interfaith Harmony Fest 2021, on 3rd and 4th of February, to elaborate on human values such as respect for all persons, knowledge of various cultures, religions and languages, non-violence, global citizenship and equity.

The events coincide with the Interfaith Harmony Week to be celebrated in the first week of February by the United Nations.

WHY:
THIS INITIATIVETHIS INITIATIVE

If the future lies within the four walls of a school, can conflict and its elimination be possible through education? Can hearts be changed by proactively sowing the seeds of love from the youngest ages so that when children grow up, they cannot think of conflict and war? Can the diverse views and peoples unite to work together for the common cause – betterment and progress of humankind?

Reverend Hans Kung, Professor of Ecumenical Theology and President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic, said in 2005, "There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions."

Located in the city which relies on co-existence of several faiths, City Montessori School has for the past 50 years created a climate of peaceful coexistence and also succeeded in diffusing tensions and violence whenever the misunderstandings have cropped up. The school with its multi-faith events organized on a daily basis such as the All Religions Prayer has striven to create appreciation and respect for all religions in the minds of children right from their formative years.

CMS efforts have demonstrated that a school can indeed bind the hearts together from diverse faiths, countries and nations and germinate the seeds of love in them.

The goals of this conference are both academic and practical. We seek to identify successful strategies, learn from mistakes, and find ways to replicate positive results of interfaith dialogue in other contexts. On the academic side, we intend to make a contribution by publishing the findings and the plan of future action from the conference in a volume. Our contribution is expected to integrate theoretical and practical approaches to interfaith dialogue in a single anthology.

India and Lucknow particularly, is the ideal setting for such a conference. India is consistently pointed to as an example of a vibrant multi-faith democracy, and Lucknow lives an interfaith existence daily. Participants from around the world will benefit greatly from the ability to carry on these kinds of discussions in such a supportive environment as well as learn first hand about India's own experiences with religious pluralism and tolerance.

The problems of human life, individual and social, are so inconceivably complex that the ordinary human intellect is not capable enough to solve them. Thus, the Omniscient guides us about the purpose of our creation and how to achieve that. Through His prophets and messengers, God shows us the true goal and the right path of progress. Building up of a true civilization depends upon faithful adherence to the guidance of Prophetic Revelation.

Prophets have taught, poets have sung and saints from time immemorial have prayed for the oneness of mankind, for strengthening the bonds of affection and unity among all human beings. Successive revelations of the Divine have contributed to widening the circles of unity at different times in the history of our civilization. The time has come for the unification of the entire human race. The oneness of mankind will be realized through a process of transformation of individuals, systems & structures. It requires people of all age groups to rise unitedly with a common vision & serve selflessly for the betterment of society. Are we ready to meet this challenging task ?

Religion, if understood and practiced in true spirit can be the greatest instrument for the establishment of order in the world and the tranquility of all its peoples.

The time has come for all religions to agree & make the nations one.

Messages

Dr Jagdish Gandhi & Dr Bharti Gandhi

Founders & Mentors

We are extremely happy that CMS Asharfabad Campus is celebrating its first ever "Virtual Interfaith Harmony Fest on 3rd & 4th February 2021”, to mark the importance of education in human life. We firmly believe that “Wars begin in the minds of men and it is in the minds of men where the defenses of peace can be constructed”...

Prof Geeta Kingdon

President and Managing Director

Apart from producing academic excellence, it must be the job of schools to help children develop their own perspectives on life. Young people must be assisted in developing their own perspectives on how to live successfully in their communities, countries and (with increasing globalization) how to...

Mr Roshan Gandhi

Chief Executive Officer

CMS has been continuing its drive towards Interfaith Harmony by providing multicultural education and inspiring the students to engage with the climate crisis and issues of sustainability in order to protect the future of the world. Amid this pandemic situation, the world needs sustainable development and...

Ms Susmita Basu

Superior Principal & Head-QAID

""Interfaith dialogue is a must today and the first step in establishing it, is forgetting the past, ignoring polemical arguments and giving precedence to common points." - M Fethullah Gulen (Turkish Scholar) It is imperative in today's ever shrinking world that we foster dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony, trust and cooperation amongst people...

Mrs Trapti Dwivedi

Convenor (IIC) &
Principal, CMS, Asharfabad Campus, Lucknow

It is important to build and promote the new concept of religious harmony so as to meet the challenges posed by religious diversity in a globalized world. On the basis of recognizing religious diversity and differences, all religions should enhance mutual understanding and empathy through dialogue and foster intra- and inter-religious harmony and amity between the various...

Events

Schedule

General Guidelines

  1. Recorded videos for all the events to be uploaded on the link which will be provided once the registration process is complete.
  2. After the registration process is complete, a code will be allotted to the participating school through their official email ids.
  3. The decision of the judges will be final and abiding.
  4. The participating schools must register their participants through google form link https://forms.gle/3RckuvMRxcKvNzEv6 latest by 15th of January, 2021.
  5. The participants are requested to follow the guidelines given in each event to qualify for the competition.
  6. The registration forms will be considered valid only if it is complete in all aspects, via google forms only. No emails will be accepted.
  7. In order to avoid any communication barrier, the entire process of registration and uploading of videos should be done by the Teacher - Incharge only.

Contact Us

Mrs Trapti Dwivedi

Convenor - IIC and
Principal of CMS Asharfabad Campus
Unity Building, Lucknow, India
Phone No: +91-0522-2654840
Mobile No: +91-9415158712
Email: interfaith@cmseducation.org
Website: https://www.cmseducation.org/interfaith/