Cousins from Altrincham have set up the first Sikh Society in the 500-year history of The Manchester Grammar School.
Marvy Nerwan, 16, and his cousin Hukam Nerwan, 15, who are both from Bowden, have founded the first Sikh Society in The Manchester Grammar School’s history since the School was established in 1515.
The pupils are now aiming to set up their own website to give young members of the Sikh community in Manchester, and beyond, a platform to come together.
Hukam said: “When we saw some of the young Year 7 Sikhs who started at the School this year, they looked a little bit lost and it can be daunting starting at such a big school, so we wanted to do something that would unite them.
“We wanted Sikh Soc to be a place where boys at the school could come together, have fun and develop a real sense of community. Since we started, we’ve attracted more than 70 members and it’s great to see people a lot more united, having fun and even meeting up outside school.”
Although it was initially set up to help young Sikhs feel at home, Sikh Soc is open to all boys at the School and the society’s members are now drawn from many different religions and backgrounds.
Marvy said: “For us, it is all about bringing together people from different backgrounds and religious persuasions and creating a strong sense of community between them.
“In the future, we hope that we can set up a Sikh Society in the Junior School and when those boys grow up, they can take over from us so we’re looking at this as a long-term project.”
Since the Society was founded, Marvy and Hukam have staged a charity night with dancing and karaoke to raise funds for The Busoga Trust, one of the school’s chosen charities.
The Trust provides sustainable access to safe water, improved sanitation and comprehensive hygiene and health education to the communities in rural Uganda and the Society raised £600 which was match-funded by the Government’s UK Aid Match.
There have also been talks about Indian culture and next week, there will be a debate as to whether Sikhs should be allowed to carry the kirpan – a ceremonial knife – in public.
The debate will be recorded live and uploaded to the cousin’s proposed website, which is expected to go online later this summer.