After noting significant progress in a pilot programme to teach Sanskrit to residents of two villages in Uttarakhand, the state government on Tuesday gave it a go-ahead to authorities to develop ‘Sanskrit grams’ across the state.
Sanskrit is the second official language in Uttarakhand. At a meeting of the Uttarakhand Sanskrit Academy, chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, a list of villages was selected for the programme — to be run first at the district level and then at the block level for promotion of the language.
Incidentally, at the same meeting, it was also decided to rename the academy as Uttaranchal Sanskrit Sansthanam Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
The state government currently runs 97 Sanskrit schools, where an average of 2,100 students study each year.
Academy secretary Dr Anand Bhardwaj said the villages of Kimotha in Chamoli district and Bhantola in Bageshwar district were earlier developed as Sanskrit villages. Residents have started using the language in their daily communication and they also sing folk songs in Sanskrit. He added that there is a village in Kerala too where residents speak only in Sanskrit.
The Uttarakhand government has chosen villages from the districts of Haridwar, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Tehri Garhwal, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar.
According to officials, villages were selected according to the availability of Sanskrit schools so that teachers may visit the villages often and motivate residents to learn and use Sanskrit.
The focus, according to them, will be on the school-going children so that they can learn the language from young age.
Bharadwaj said the aim is to teach people to use Sanskrit regularly and that the programme will start by teaching people smaller sentences which are used most commonly.
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