TNN | May 26, 2018, 09.04 AM IST
At Al Qamar Academy in Chennai, lessons on the meaning and significance of Ramzan are accompanied with a chore sheet for students, a list of things they can do at home, to ease parents’ workload as well as earn a little money for charity. “We explain to the children about how they need to help their parents who may feel tired as they are fasting during this month. The younger children are asked to do chores around the house like watering the plants or folding clothes while the older ones are asked to help with the cooking or sweeping the house,” says Aneesa Jamal, principal of the school in Kottivakkam. “Parents are asked to pay them small amounts like Rs 5 for each chore,” adds Aneesa.
This year, the school has identified 14 mosques to help. At the end of the week or month, the money collected is either used to buy dates distributed at mosques for the daily iftar or to help the lesser privileged in the community, says Aneesa, who adds that this practice has been followed in the school for more than five years now.
“The school gives each student a clay pot into which parents deposit the money we earn from our chores,” says Samreen Saleemudeen, who has just completed her Class X at Al Qamar.
“It’s fun to break the pot at the end of the month and see how much money we have earned,” adds Samreen.
But for Samreen, over the years, doing the chores has become more than a mere fun activity, it has become a way of life. “During this month I collect money for the work I do, but the chores have now become a force of habit with me. I’ve begun helping my parents and doing work around the house the rest of the year as well, because I want to,” adds Samreen, who helps out by sweeping and washing utensils. “For the past few years I have begun fasting as well, so this ‘homework’ has also made me understand how hard my parents work,” she says.