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Monk dangles game carrot for Jain kids

    Mumbai (Maharashtra), July 1, 2012: When eight-year-old Moksh Sahanand was done arranging the names of the Tirthankars, he did not get all of them right. That ended up taking away his prize. But then, it also pushed him to know the correct series of the Tirthankars.

    A Jain monk has introduced fun-and-fair events based on religious text that inculcates the habit of questioning and creating curiosity among the young, to know more about Jainism and more importantly, come to temple in search of religious knowledge.
    “Since children like to play games, the idea of conducting such events was to get children to the temples,” said Muni Manobhushan Vijayji Maharaj, who has initiated the idea.

    The monk is known to take initiatives for religious learning of children. At various temples, he runs classes twice a week in which trained Jain housewives teach children of 3 to 12 years about the religion.

    “Mostly those who attend our religious classes get the prizes. This makes the others, too, attend the classes,” said Smita Shah, one of the organisers of the event and one who conducts such classes in the Ghatkopar-Chembur belt.

    Until now three such fairs have taken place in the city. The fairs are mostly held on temple premises or at a building owned by the temple trust and children between the age of 3 and 12 are called.
    The games were designed on the same lines as popular ones such as snakes and ladders.

    “Till the age of 12, children are like clay. You can mould them the way you want,” said Harish Chhadwa, another organiser.

    “It also helps them inculcate the habit of questioning and generating curiosity for religious scriptures,” said Hansumati Gala, another organiser who is also an insurance agent. – News Courtesy: DNA India

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