Across India this 15 August, Ismailis celebrated their nation’s independence through acts that contributed to the wellbeing of society. Members of the Jamat planted trees, cleaned up local monuments and put on street plays to educate about traffic safety.

“Trees are the best natural defense system against air pollution,” says scoutmaster Anwar Vasaya. He was part of an effort by youth of the Silvassa Jamat to keep the environment “clean and green” by planting over 30 saplings.

“This Independence Day we planned to celebrate by planting trees and doing our bit to save the world,” he explains.

In Bangalore, young Ismailis launched a cleanliness drive, engaging the help of local residents to clean up a war memorial.

“We want to conduct this drive on a regular basis, and help promote it in all Jamatkhanas across India,” says Arif Mistry, who led the initiative. “The drive was a successful event with support from Mukhi Saheb, Kamadia Saheb and other residents.”

When the youth of the Jamat in Gujarat wanted to send a message about road safety, they drew on their theatrical skills. The scouts and guides of Karimabad and Ankhleshwar Jamatkhanas put on a street play about traffic hazards and the use of helmets. The Unn Yuwan Jamat held a road show that was followed by a performance by their scouts and guides band. In Rander Jamatkhana the youth created awareness about the ills of excessive mobile phone use.

Even the Karimnagar Early Childhood Development Centre got in on the action! They launched several activities for children in the Jamat, including a fancy dress parade. Smartly dressed children beamed in patriotic attire, as they walked on stage and introduced themselves as prominent personalities from Indian history.

As the Indian Jamat joined in the national pride of Independence Day, there was also a sense of fulfillment at having contributed to making the country a better place to live today, and for tomorrow.