Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The Sikh minority renewed their demand on the government to establish separate schools for their children on Sunday, when they celebrated the 317th Vaisakhi festival in eastern Nangarhar province.
The festival traditionally got underway at the community’s religious place in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, before moving to Sultanpur area of the Surkhrud district.
A spokesman for the community, Dr. Armit Singh, told Pajhwok Afghan News the celebrations would continue for three days.
He said: “Today is our Eid. We will go to Sultanpur to perform our religious rituals and take the requisite bathing.”
The spokesman said the festival’s last day would be celebrated in capital Kabul where Sikhs form different parts of the country would come together.
Singh demanded the government ensure their security and take necessary steps for the minorities’ safety.
He said the government should establish separate schools for their children. “Our children currently study up to sixth class in our religious places which are not suitable for learning.”
He said the government should build separate schools for them so that their children could study in a safe environment.
Mohammad Asif Shinwari, the education department spokesman, said a school had been established at the community’s religious place in Jalalabad, where 150 students were enrolled.
He said students could study in the school up to class eight and the current batch had reached class four. He said the provincial government would upgrade the education facility to a high school in future.
Meanwhile, Kabir Haqmal, the Education Ministry’s spokesman, said Sikhs like other Afghans could send their children to government-run schools.
Foolproof security arrangements were put place as Sikhs celebrated the Vaisakhi festival. Around 250 Skih families are living in Nangarhar.
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