Oral Histories Exchange Program- Indian and Pakistani Schools
- India and Pakistan have engaged in three wars and countless skirmishes. People to people contact is limited and there exists a trust deficit between young Indians and Pakistanis, especially amongst low-income groups who are more susceptible to propaganda and jingosim. In order to scale down conflict rhetoric, such contacts are essential as they lay the foundation of trust and build on similarities
- History books on both sides of the border have a skewed version of history that gives rise to suspicions. These programs will help alley fears and prevent a sense of hate for the 'other,' helping to bring about a better understanding of each other. CITIZENS ARCHIVE OF PAKISTAN and ROUTES 2 ROOTS hope that by the end of the project, there will be a marked difference in the way students approach India-Pakistan ties and the way in which they ask questions about each other. It is CITIZENS ARCHIVE OF PAKISTAN and ROUTES 2 ROOTS's hope that a student-to-student program will increase confidence among the people through dispelling of stereotypes and create a positive pressure for peace.
- CITIZENS ARCHIVE OF PAKISTAN and ROUTES 2 ROOTS also hope that through the project, children will be able to learn more about their own country and its history, building a strong Pakistani and Indian identity. Children will be encouraged to ask their parents and grandparents questions that may not arise in normal circumstances, making history more interactive and interesting for the students and filling in the gaps in their books.
The Exchange-for-change model was developed as a result of two competing demands:
- the Oral History Project goals which strive towards creating awareness of Pakistan's joint history with India, among other aspects
- the lack of communication between India and Pakistan and the resultant deficit in history syllabi of schools of both countries
The model will consist of four phases each requiring students aged ten to fourteen to engage in open dialogue. The phases are detailed below:
This exchange program will involve over 2200 students and 10 schools from Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan and Delhi and Mumbai in India.