Baghpat, Feb 5: In an initiative designed to instill honesty among school children, a school in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat has set up an ‘Almirah of Honesty’ -- a cupboard filled with stationery items.
Students are encouraged to purchase items they require, but the payment is not made to any person but offered to an idol of Lord Ganesha, kept alongside.
Kamaldeep Jindal, the principal of Growell Public School for Girls in Badaut town in Baghpat, said, “The purpose of ‘The Almirah of Honesty’ is to instil a sense of honesty among children and the fear of God. The price list is attached and payment can be made in the box near the idol. It has been running for the past 10 days, and every day the box receives anywhere between Rs 300 and Rs 500. There are no CCTV cameras to monitor the transactions.”
Jindal further said, “The inventory was checked at the end of the day and we have not found any discrepancies so far. On the contrary, we find extra money in the box. The Ganesha idol serves as a manager who looks like an accountant, creating the impression that the Lord is the facility’s owner, and students remain sincere towards it.”
The students buy pencils, watercolours, compass and other stationary and put the money in the piggy bank kept adjacent to the idol. When asked how non-Hindu students react to it, Jindal said, “We are only focused on the spiritual development of our children, with no particular religion involved. We have a Santa Claus at our reception and a statue of Lord Buddha on the premises.”
“We teach students tenets of all religious texts and also encourage them to respect all religions,” he added.