Some brown people, some not so brown.

Some Hindu, some Muslim, some Dalit, some Jat.

Some women people, some men people.

Do we even know what all these types mean?



August 1996 marked the 50th year of Independence and Partition. India and Pakistan, two countries had emerged due to a host of complex and historic reasons and their birth had been accompanied by unimaginable level of cruelty, pain and barbarism emerged in blood and death of thousands of innocent people. Confronting the area of prejudice, exclusion and hate as a part of the KHOJ project for three consecutive years, we had found that one of the stumbling blocks in adult minds � parents and teachers � was the whole issue of Partition. Adults were passing on this burden to the children, most of the time unconsciously and unintentionally. However, the damage was already done. The only logical extension of the KHOJ experiment therefore would be an attempt to set up a communication between the children of these two countries to give them a fair chance to make up their mind on how they would like to deal with this issue. Thus, the concept of AMAN was born.

In the initial phase of AMAN, we asked the children of Bombay International School, �Would you be at all interested in linking up with children in Pakistan?� After some discussion and thought, they said, �Yes certainly, but provided, you give us a module, an entire session on two issues that bother us: the issue of Partition (why and how it happened) and the issue of terrorism in Kashmir. Once we are clear on this, we are definitely interested.� We, therefore, honouring the students� candour, spoke about the issues in detail. Symbolically, a Pledge for Peace was taken by students of Bombay International School and C.A.S. (Centre fo4 Studies) in Karachi on August 14 and 15, 1996.

AMAN, the olive branch of KHOJ, has been connecting the children of India and Pakistan through letter writing since its inception. Children in Mumbai and Karachi have been expressing their dilemma and confusions through interesting questions. They have learnt to have colossal faith in each other which is priceless in today�s political context. The Centre for Advanced Studies School in Karachi and the Bombay International School were the first to join AMAN while many other schools in Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi have been proactive in being a part of this program. Recently, we have succeeded in connecting with the children and teachers of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Apart from schools, individual children from both countries are writing to us to help them find a PEACEPAL in the other country. Hence AMAN has opened an ADDRESS BANK for those children who wish to make a penpal. Write in your request to us, with age and hobby details, at the address below and we hope to find you an address in Pakistan soon.

PO BOX 28253,
JUHU, BOMBAY 400049.

You can also e-mail us at:
[email protected]

Here are just some of the letters we have received recently. We'll be helping these children find Peacepals real soon.

West Bengal
Dear Aman
My name is Ahana. I am very worried about the coflict between India and Pakistan. I find this rather foolish. Recently after the atomic explosion I was really upset. So, I decided write to some one across the border.
Please send me the address of a child of my age!!
West Bengal

Sarada Bikkina
Class: X
Date of Birth: March 16, 1983
Hobbies: Playing, reading, dancing, music, painting.
I would like to be friendly with everyone and make the people around me happy. I don�t like any kind of fighting. Our class students live like the members of our own family and we never take matters too seriously. We all love our country. We don�t like to blame other countries and at the same time no one should blame our country and our leaders. We feel sad for the present condition of politics and are ready to do anything that we can do to make all the people live together happily.
East Godavari District
Andhra Pradesh

Deepti D.
Birth Date: 9-12-1983
Reading the announcement you have given in the newspaper, I am writing you this letter. I love making friends. My hobbies are singing, listening to music, modern art and finally, penpals. I have many penpals abroad but none in Pakistan. By making friends with Pakistanis, I think that one day we can achieve an understanding between them and us. I greatly appreciate this idea of yours. My address is written below and I hope that you will find me a friend in Pakistan soon. I will be waiting for your letter. I hope that I can hear from you soon.
Deepti D.
East Godavari District
Andhra Pradesh