“The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated “– Gandhi
The literal meaning of compassion is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering”. Compassion as an emotion does not come very easily to everyone. It mostly has to be created as a possibility.
At IRMET, we firmly believe in nurturing our students holistically and the teaching philosophies are instilled with values for life. Critical learnings and skill sets are taught which children can apply in their daily life and which will enable and empower them to lead independent lives and above all become responsible citizens and kind and compassionate human beings.
In continuation with the celebrations of Gandhi Jayanti, we at IRMET planned an interactive session on “compassion for animals” for our students. It was conducted on 2nd October by Ms. Sugandha Tiwari (Consultant Special Educator, freelance blogger and life skills trainer). The workshop was conducted for two groups – primary and senior.
The session started with the children watching a small movie on animal cruelty. Before the students started watching the video they were encouraged to inquire on some questions like “Why and how are animals important in our life”? what makes us hit them ? And do we really get anything out of hitting them”?
After watching the video, children were asked to share any negative experiences they may have had with pet or stray animals, esp any instance of dog bite in their families, on road or elsewhere. In this sharing they also had to reflect on what action, if any, they had taken which could have provoked the animal.
Out of all the sharings, one thing that explicitly came out is that children themselves have pre conceived notions and perception about animal behaviour and secondly they too behave a bit too dramatically in front of the animal. The facilitator Ms. Sugandha shared a few tips with children on how to identify places where there can be possible danger of animal attack and certain types of verbal and nonverbal ways of communication which can make the animal more fearful and act defensively.
Besides, with the festival of Diwali just round the corner children were also asked not to in particular do any harm to animals by using crackers and how they can practice being a bit more compassionate and sensitive towards another being who cannot even express themselves like we human beings can.
Overall, the children responded very well and they could actually be seen doing some work of introspection on their own behaviour and attitude towards animals.