Six-year-old Odisha Muslim girl wins Bhagavad Gita recitation contest


A six-year-old Muslim girl Firdaus has topped recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita — a Hindu holy book — in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita chanting competition was held at a temple premises in Kendrapara this week. The winner in sub-junior group, Firdaus, had the full support of her mother Arifa Bibi who stood by her daughter throughout the competition.

Judge Akshaya Pani said that keeping in mind the sensitivity of the participation by Firdaus, they had to take many precautions, one of them getting the consent of her parents etc. He further added, that he was left surprised by the support Firdaus got from her mother not only permitted her to participate in the competition but, also remained by her throughout the event.

Firdaus is a student of Sobhaniya Sikshashrama, a residential school in Kendrapara town and recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita was part of the prayer class. The headmistress of the school Urmila Kar was quoted as saying by the newspaper that Firdaus is a very bright student. “As a Standard I student, she cannot read slokas. But she has memorised the slokas chanted during prayer classes as we lay emphasised on moral education,”

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Total 46 children participated in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita chanting competition. The participants were judged on their ability to memorise slokas, presentation, audience preference, voice and involvement in the recital. “Firdaus scored 97.5 out of 100 in the competition,” said Mr. Pani.