Breaking all conventions, a memorable inter-faith Iftar was organised by Women’s Hub, a collective of women professionals at the Guwahati Blind School on Friday in which about 100 people including the students of the School participated.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhaben Barman, Principal of the School said, “It’s indeed a memorable day today for we are having the first ever iftar get together at our School. Even though we have a few students observing roza here but we never had an iftar programme in the School.” He expressed the hope that such programmes would go a long way in removing misgivings about different religions that people harbour in their minds. Social activist Nurul Islam Laskar flagged off the programme with a talk explaining the significance of Ramzan and Iftar.
Swabera Islam, former Principal of KC Das Commerce College and a senior member of the Women’s Hub, deliberated on the background and the objective of holding the iftar programme. She said that it was an endeavour to reach out to people of different communities in the holy month of Ramzan.
Leading citizens, crossing the barriers of faith, were present at the iftar and spoke to the students in their own ways. Renowned columnist and writer, Mitra Phukan, remembered her iftar hopping visits to friends’ houses all through the holy month of Ramzan. Gurpreet Singh Uppal, a practising lawyer of Gauhati High Court, said, “I am a Sikh, we don’t observe roza in our house, but holding iftar parties for our Muslim friends is a tradition in our house for many years.” Dr Navanil Barua, Head of Neurosurgery Department, GNRC Hospitals, dwelt on the sublime aspects of Ramzan that teaches people about self-control, compassion, and piety. He said, “The biryani is still warm.”
Florence Handique Rabha, a teacher and TV anchor, delighted the students with motivation songs while internationally acclaimed Assamese singer Kalpana Patowary sang devotional songs and Zikir in which the students of the School also took part whole heartedly. Aman Wadud and Nurul Laskar, represented the Stars of North East Group, and deliberated on different aspects of Islam and Ramzan.
Restaurateur Intibah Murtafi who runs her restaurant called Zouq says, “Had a most fulfilling experience this Ramzan by contributing to an inter-faith Iftar meet. It was an exhilarating experience to witness the enthusiasm the kids exhibited for life. I am glad I could be part of such an initiative which broadened my vision of Ramzan and life in general.”
Historian Rana Safvi says, “Iftar is a ritual of breaking the fast. And the more you share, the more you are blessed.” Entrepreneur Tannishi Inam said that it was her best Ramzan experience till date. While Dr Shabnam Choudhury anchored the programme, the vote of thanks was offered by Rehna Sultana, a research scholar at Gauhati University.