Hindus have welcomed reports of performance by students of some elementary schools of Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) in Montana, involving a chant linked to Hindu text Ramayana in February. According to reports, this performance part of a project which received grant from state agency Montana Arts Council; included pupils from Lewis and Clark Elementary, Russell School and Lowell School. Hindu deity Lord Hanuman was also displayed on the occasion.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commending MCPS for generating awareness among its elementary schoolchildren regarding Hinduism, described it as a step in the positive direction. Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that awareness about other religions thus created by such programs would make Missoula students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Ancient Hindu text Ramayana consists of seven books (kandas) and narrates the life of Lord Rama in Sanskrit. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Missoula headquartered MCPS, whose tagline is “Forward Thinking, High Achieving”, operates nine elementary schools, three middle schools, four high schools, an Alternative High School program, Early Learning Preschool program, and an adult education program. Marcia Holland and Mark A. Thane are Trustees Chair and Superintendent respectively of MCPS, which envisions itself as “educational leaders in a global society”.