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New Hindu School in U.K. Requires Students to be Vegetarian

by wayodd.com

Posted December 9, 2007

The constant admonition for kids to eat their veggies probably will not be heard often in the Krishna-Avanti school in northwest London. The school requires enrollees to be vegetarians. The school policy is criticized by Hindus who find the strict requirement favoring the Hare Krishna tradition.

The school's leaning toward practices of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more known as Hare Krishna, is not surprising since the movement's vegan followers are behind the school administration.

Khrishna-Avanti will open on September in Harrow, home to 40,000 Hindus or 20 percent of the town's headcount. The U.K. is second home to 1.5 million Hindus. The state is financing $20.6 million (10 million pound) out of the $24.7 million (12 million pound) budget to construct the school building that will house 240 pupils.

Because of the limited number of students to be accepted, strict adherence to the school's vegetarian policy will play a vital role who gets accepted or rejected if there are more applicants than seats.

Nitesh Gor, director of the I-Foundation behind the school, explained, "In common with other faith schools - which may require letters from priests or proof of church or synagogue attendance - we want to give priority to those that are most active in their faith. The definition we have arrived at includes regular home and temple worship, as well as vegetarianism and avoiding alcohol."

Major sects of Hinduism regard vegetarianism as an ideal because it upholds non-violence by not killing animals for its meat, offers a pure food to a deity and the belief a plant-based diet is healthy for the mind and body.

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