In Hinduism, touching elders’ feet is believed to be a sign of respect and a way of getting blessings in return. Teaching children to touch the feet of their parents, relatives, teachers and other elders is an essential component of almost every Hindu child’s upbringing. Hence, student’s touching their teachers feet is no rare sight in India.
However, there is a school where the exact opposite happens. Teachers touching the feet of all students is the ritual followed every morning in Rushikul Gurukul Vidyala, Mumbai. And why not? After all, in India, children are regarded as the human form of god. So touching the feet of children is equivalent to bowing down to god. In fact, in our country, there are a number of festivals in which children are worshiped as an essential ethic, Navratri being one of them.
The Gurukul started this practice with the rationale that it will develop more respect for teachers. As the teachers seek the blessings of the children, they will also be setting an example to students that everyone should be respected irrespective of age. The school also believes that greeting the children in this manner improves the communication between teachers and students.
The Rushikul Gurukul Vidyala is located in Ghatkopar, Mumbai and is affiliated to Maharashtra State Secondary School Board. The co-ed school is not a very big one and operates in a rented building. Teachers use playful methods of teaching without any compromises to the syllabus.
The school has basic furniture, a library, extra-curricular activities and a handful of teachers teaching students of primary classes. So it would be apt to say that despite the fact that the school is an ordinary one in terms of their infrastructure or facilities, the pedagogy followed here is certainly out of the ordinary.