At International Hindi Conference, Indian Government urged to fund center in New Jersey

HIndi language experts, community members gather at the Consulate General of India in New York during the 5th Internaional Hindi Conference Oct. 21, 2023. PHOTO: Courtesy organizers

The Fifth International Hindi Conference, that concluded on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at the Consulate General of India in New York, adopted a resolution demanding that the Government of India finance the establishment of a ‘Hindi Center’, in New Jersey, a state with a large population of Indians and Indian-American in the country.

“Establishment of a ‘Hindi Center’ is the need of the hour,”  Ashok Ojha, coordinator of the 5th International Hindi Conference, is quoted saying in a press release. “Such a center  could serve as a resource venue for Hindi learning in the USA and other parts of North and South America.”

Ojha’s resolution received instant support from the audience, including, Dr. Sunil Kulkarni, director, Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, a Hindi learning institute run by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, Secretary General, World Hindi Secretariat, Mauritius Dr. Madhouri Raamdharee, and Prof. Rekha Sethi, Indraprasth College, Delhi. The resolution was unanimously adopted.

“Hindi learning in the Western Hemisphere, especially in the Caribbean nations as well as South American countries, like Guyana, Surinam, Peru and Brazil, was expanding. Hence it is necessary to extend support to all efforts for Hindi teaching in these countries,” Ojha said, noting that similar demands were unanimously passed by three previous Hindi conferences held in New York (2014, 2015, 2016) with active support of the Consuls General of India.

India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal (extreme left) welcomed by Purnima Desai and Neena Sarin at the Inaugural event of the 5th International Hindi Conference 2023, October 20. PHOTO: Courtesy organizers

Earlier, on Friday, October 20th, inaugurating the Fifth International Hindi conference, India’s Consul General in New York  Randhir Jaiswal emphasized his commitment to support Hindi. He said that the Government of India, through its missions abroad, understood the value of Hindi education. “To that end we are making all efforts to support the promotion of Hindi around the world.

Akash Patel, president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), in his key note speech, appealed to Indian-American parents to encourage their children to aspire for becoming teachers, not just engineers and doctors. “Language teachers play key role in promotion of peach and conflict resolution around the world”, said Patel, a certified Spanish teacher, who was recently elected to the National Council of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). He said that peace and conflict resolution were important goals that must receive priority by all. “We can achieve this goal if we encourage our children to learn other cultures”, he said.

Dr. Raamdharee suggested that the traditional teaching method for Hindi language must be modernized in order to make it better suited for today’s Hindi learners. “The old pattern is not attractive for the learners of 21st century, who are hesitant to attend Hindi classes.

Piyush Patel, philanthropist, who represented the Indian community at the conference, congratulated the organizers for promoting Hindi in the USA. Upendra Chivukula, Chairperson, Yuva Hindi Sansthan, and a former NJ Assemblyman, emphasized the need to learn Hindi. “Hindi was a symbol of identity for the people of Indian origin”

Cultural performance at the Inaugural day of the 5th International Hindi Conference held on Oct 20-21 at the Consulate General of India n New York. PHOTO: Courtesy organizers

A number of language experts, who came from various parts of USA, Europe, India and Mauritius, presented their research papers on the theme, “Innovation in Hindi instruction-Methodology, technology and more: Tool, environment and challenges.”

Prof Rajiv Ranjan, Michigan State University, initiated a discussion on the role of language teachers in modern language education. He was of the opinion that teachers should received appropriate training before they were assigned to teach in a classroom. Ranjan recently won an award for developing teaching materials for language learners.

Patrica Sabarwal, Indiana University, Neena Sarin, New Jersey School District, Mamta Tripathi, an independent teacher, and Anubhooti Kabra, an Atlanta based Hindi teacher, presented their experiences about visiting India when they participated in a Study Tour in 2022, sponsored by Fulbright-Hays GPA Curriculum Development Project 2022. The four presenters explained the ways certain marginalized communities in India were leading sustainable life style and resolving various challenges including the challenge of Global warming.

Anoop Bhargava, a NJ based Hindi poet, along with Rekha Sethi, jointly discussed the future of Artificial Intelligence’.

A number of speakers, representing different educational institutions, who were unable to attend the conference, presented their work virtually, provided insights into Hindi’s relationship with other languages, such as, Portuguese, Assamese and more.

The inaugural event concluded with a ‘Kavi Sammelan’ during which dozens of US-based Hindi poets recited their poems. ‘Aadhe-Adhure’, a highly acclaimed play, written by renowned Hindi author Mohan Rakesh, and directed by Sandhya Bhagat, was staged at the concluding event. Harish Naval a Delhi-based Hindi author, narrated some unknown episodes related with Mohan Rakesh. Approximately ten actors and actresses flew specially from Atlanta to perform at the conference.

Purnima Desai, chair,  Organizing Committee , welcomed the Consul General Randhir Jaiswal by presenting him a shawl and a memento. In her speech she thanked the consul general for sponsoring the 5th International Hindi Conference. She also presented Saraswati medals to all poets who took part in the ‘Kavi sammelan‘ on October 20th and to the artists who performed at the concluding event on October 21st. 

On behalf of Hindi Sangam Foundation, the organizer of the event, shawls and mementos were also presented to dignitaries who were present on the occasion.



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