Rajan Zed, distinguished Hindu statesman and President of Universal Society of Hinduism, had said that, that this decision is a step in the right direction and had further urged all other public school districts and private-charter-independent schools in New York State to do the same.
Zed, had said that it’s a positive thing to do 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 these pupils. He had said that, without an official holiday Hindu students would be in an unnecessary disadvantage for missing tests/examinations/papers, assignments, class work, etc., by taking a day-off to observe Diwali.
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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
Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would enable New York State students to be well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Zed urged New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Department Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia, to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in all the 728 school districts, and persuading the private-charter-independent schools to do the same.
Zed thanked HUFSD Board of Education President Phil Heckler and other Board members for supporting Diwali holiday.
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