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Hindus seek Diwali holiday in all Pennsylvania schools after Spring-Ford proposal
SFASD Board will consider this proposed calendar on January 24. "Diwali is being added to the calendar proposal", SFASD Superintendent Robert W. Rizzo wrote in an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed. Calendars are annually approved and Diwali will reportedly appear as part of future proposals for the Board to consider.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada today, said that holiday on Diwali in Pennsylvania schools would be a step in the positive direction in view of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at schools around the state, as it was important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu pupils.
Rajan Zed indicated that since it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children; closing schools on Diwali would ensure that and would also display how respectful and accommodating Pennsylvania schools were to their faith.
If schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali, Zed asked. Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion, Zed added.
Rajan Zed suggested all Pennsylvania schools, public-private-
Zed urged Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Education Secretary Noe Ortega and Pennsylvania Board of Education Chairperson Karen Farmer White to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in all the state's public schools; and persuading the private-charter-
Rajan Zed further says that Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation)