By Nalini Rajan
Hindi is spoken as a native language by 258 million people and is recognized as the 2nd largest language in the world. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting authority ACARA which is responsible for national curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 in specified learning areas will also include Hindi as additional curriculum development in 2015-2016. This is a major achievement and recognition of the Hindi speaking community in Australia. A number of organisations including the Hindi School in Sydney led by Mala Mehta has been spearheading over a long number of years for the recognition of Hindi in Australia.
At the initiative of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 10th January is celebrated as Vishwa Hindi Diwas (World Hindi Day) by the various Indian Offices and Banks functioning abroad.
Bank of Baroda, Sydney celebrated the World Hindi Day, in line of the initiatives of Govt of India, at their city office on Friday the 8th of January 2016 from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Mr Pradip Desai, Vice President Bank of Baroda welcomed the chief guest Dr Vinod Bahade, Acting Consul General of India in Sydney, speakers and other invited guests.
Mr Rangarajan, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Baroda Sydney said that internet is playing a good role for learning Hindi especially for non-Hindi speaking people of all ages. “By learning phrases and sentences in Hindi, speaking and writing the language, anyone can achieve a working knowledge and command of Hindi Language” stated Mr Rangarajan.
Dr Vinod Bahade acting CG spoke about how in schools Hindi is being taught as a language. in India through Hindi there is solidarity in the community. Now there is a global awareness and desire to learn Hindi due to enormous socio economic opportunities offered and facilitated by Government of India. As a community we can make our contribution in making Hindi popular in Australia and Government of India will support such initiatives and activities of promoting Hindi in Australia.
Rekha Rajvanshi, the Sydney based Hindi poetess & writer, spoke about the origin of Hindi, Hindi’s status in Australia and recited some nostalgic poems.
A competition was held and the guests were invited to participate in an open forum on “How to promote Hindi in Australia”. The following participated in the discussions
Mr. Gambhir Watts, President, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mr. SKS Sawant, Consul, Indian Consulate, Mr Bansal Ex Executive Director , Union Bank of India and Director AIR INDIA, Mr Ram Prasad, Senior Manager Union Bank of India, Mr Rameshwar Datta, Chief representative, Punjab National Bank Mr Anand Kumar, Mr Rabindra Bharti, Mr Prasad Vedula, Mr Shreshtha Bajaj, Mr Dutta, Ms. Kanchan Kukreja, Assistant Director, India Tourism, Mr Chidambaram of AIR INDIA & Vish Viswanathan, Editor, the INDIAN TELEGRAPH.
The following is the summary of the various suggestions made by the speakers.
Hindi is our identity, we need to start speaking Hindi at home so that our children can learn and be benefited in connecting with our mother land.
Media can to play an important role in the promotion of Hindi.
Use of Hindi can be promoted even in business, international trade and commercial transactions wherever possible
There needs to be more involvement and participation by younger generation.
The winner was Ms. Kanchan Kukreja from India Tourism, she said India Tourism needs to use Hindi e. g. using Hindi in their gift items by writing ‘Atulya Bharat” instead of Incredible India.
Second prize winner was Mr Rameshwar Datta who said that Hindi should be used in official correspondence.
Third prize was won by young energetic Shreshtha Bajaj.