Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the global Indian Diaspora to cherish and preserve the Sanskrit language.
In his signature monthly radio program ‘Mann ki Baat,’ he said the language helps nurture knowledge and strengthens unity among the community.
“Through its thoughts and medium of literary texts, Sanskrit helps nurture knowledge and also national unity strengthens it. Sanskrit literature comprises the divine philosophy of humanity and knowledge which can captivate anyone’s attention.”
He said the efforts made in recent times have brought a new awareness about Sanskrit.
“It is our collective duty to cherish our heritage, preserve it, pass it on to the new generation…. and future generations also have a right to it. Now is the time to increase everyone’s efforts for these works as well,” added Mr Modi.
“if you know of any such person engaged in this kind of effort if you have any such information, then please share the information related to them on social media with #CelebratingSanskrit,”PM Modi urged.
He said that he got to know about many people who are engaged in the ‘inspirational’ work of teaching Sanskrit in foreign lands.
He mentioned an Irish national Rutger Kortenhorst who is a Sanskrit scholar and teaches Sanskrit to the children in Ireland. Dr Chirapat Prapandavidya and Dr Kusuma Rakshamani, both of them are playing a very important role in the promotion of the Sanskrit language in Thailand.
Another such professor is Shriman Boris Zakharin, who teaches Sanskrit at Moscow State University in Russia.
However, PM Modi’s mention about Sydney Sanskrit School bought the loudest cheers in Australia, where the Sanskrit language is taught to a large number of students. For children, Sydney schools also organise programs like Sanskrit Grammar Camp, Sanskrit Plays and Sanskrit Day.
School’s Principal Dr Meena Srinivasan says this day is very special for every person associated with Sydney Sanskrit School, and a very emotional one for me.
She told The Australia Today, “The recognition of our Sanskrit language efforts along with many others makes us work harder to establish Sanskrit schools in at least every capital city of Australia.”
Sydney Sanskrit School was established in 2006 as the First Community Language Sanskrit School in the Southern Hemisphere.
Starting with humble beginnings with a handful of students in Liverpool the school has steadily grown to several hundred students to four locations in Sydney, and programs in Melbourne and Brisbane.
The school surfed over the pandemic reaching out to students in remote areas through online sessions. There are over 70 students in Melbourne in 4 locations.
One of the laurels of the school is the induction of former students as teachers. Upon completing their HSC, students have the option to be trained as teachers, the school has a comprehensive training program. Now, school has over 15 Sanskrit teachers and with community support, the school hopes to establish classes across Australia.
SSS has developed an extensive K-12 Curriculum based on Australian teaching methodology and is aware that students are learning Sanskrit as a foreign language in Australia. Textbooks have been designed and published by the school in line with the syllabus developed.
“Learn Sanskrit with fun” is the school motto, this is augmented through residential Autumn camps and Intensive Paniniyam Grammar camps. Besides, the school participates in cultural programs while conducting the annual school day in Samaskrutotsavam, where all the dance and drama are in Sanskrit.
Sydney Sanskrit School Co-founder and President Karthik Subramanian said We as a community language school are the joint efforts of families, educationalists, visionaries and community leaders.
With reverence to First Australians, the SSS had a project with the Dharawal (South Western Sydney of Aboriginal Community) and published an Interlanguage Sanskrit-Dharawal Sing alone songbook for children.
“All the trials and hardships of the last 15 years that got us to this recognition all rolled out a movie in front of my eyes. Our efforts continue further vigorously with this boost from Modiji himself,” added Ms Meenakshi.