Two cousins have made history at their 500-year-old grammar school in Manchester after they founded the institution’s first Sikh society.
The Sikhi Society at The Manchester Grammar School now boasts more than 70 members – including students from non-Sikh backgrounds.
Hukam, 16, and Mahavir Singh Nerwan, 15, decided to start the society after they noticed a “lack of knowledge” of the Sikh religion among their friends and peers.
“We created it with the aim of educating teenagers about key aspects of the Sikh faith and in the process to help clear stereotypes and misconceptions about our religion,” Hukam told The Huffington Post UK.
“With this in mind, we started giving talks during our school’s lunchtime and have held successful fundraisers such as a Punjabi style dance off and a karaoke contest, which raised £600 for charity.”
The pair say students of other faiths are attracted to the society thanks to the “friendly and informative environment”.
“We also provide a forum for discussion,” Hukam adds.
The cousins are now keen to expand their society beyond the school, and are creating a website which will be launched in June to give young Sikhs in Manchester a platform to come together.
“When we saw some of the young Year 7 Sikhs who started at the School this year, they looked a little bit lost and it can be daunting starting at such a big school,” says Hukam. “So we wanted to do something that would unite them.”
Mahavir added: “For us, it is all about bringing together people from different backgrounds and religious persuasions and creating a strong sense of community between them.”