Indian pupils walk on fire, broken glass to boost confidence
Thu, Apr 22, 2010
AHMEDABAD, India - A private school in the western Indian state of Gujarat made pupils walk over burning coals and broken glass in a test designed to boost their confidence.
Officials at the Riverdale school in the city of Surat on Wednesday described the challenges set at a summer camp as "important exercises that will make a child strong and determined".
"We asked the students to walk with naked feet on fire and on broken glass pieces as it teaches them to deal with their fear and find new ways to overcome it," Kalpesh Patel, a school administrator, told AFP.
Patel said 80 children aged nine to 14 walked on the hot coals, while 110 students walked over glass pieces. He said no one suffered any injuries.
Television footage of the event was picked up by Indian news channels.
"The children were reluctant in the beginning but afterwards they exuded confidence," Patel said, adding that the school had been running the activities for more than a decade.
Fire-walking has existed as a religious ritual in many cultures for thousands of years. It has also gained some popularity in the United States as a team-building exercise and alternative health remedy.