Sanya Singhal returns to school after six weeks, with the nose stud

Sanya Singhal with mum Kalyani

You may be aware that a Hindu girl studying in a Catholic school in Perth was asked to remove her nose stud as it violated school uniform policy. Parents of the girl and then Hindu Council of Australia told the school that a nose stud is an item of religious significance and is obligatory.

The school however did not relent. Hindu Council of Australia took up the matter with archbishop of Perth. Says HCA, “We got an acknowledgement of our letter but did not hear any thing further after that. The school went on its own spree to interpret Hinduism which was strongly objected by Hindu Council.”

Hindu Council then took up the matter with Catholic education in Sydney and were assured that the matter is being discussed and has not been forgotten. Hindu Council made an appeal to Minister of Education WA to frame rules for religious freedom of students of other faiths in faith based schools. Many other Hindu groups in Perth and elsewhere also pursued the issue.

Finally, six weeks after missing her school, Sanya has finally started going to her school. “While we are happy that Sanya is back in her school, we urge the school to do the extra yard to help her with the missed six weeks of her education.” Said Surinder Jain, media spokesperson on behalf of HCA.

He said, “Hindu Council of Australia salutes the steadfastness of Sanya and her mother and is planning to award them as they make a good role model for young girls growing up in Australia.”

Leaders of the country, anti discrimination commissioner all have said in the past that a student should not be expelled based on discrimination and thus miss their studies. For Sanya to have missed six weeks of study by the school’s Principal was quite unfair. While Sanya is back and busy with her studies, Hindu Council has decided to fight all the way for religious freedom in faith based school and wants a freedom of religion for students, employees and teachers of other faiths in faith based schools. The Council has demanded state and federal education minsters, state and federal multi cultural ministers and parliaments to pass laws granting freedom of religion in faith based schools.

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