Indian Government keen to support Hindi institutions in USA–SUGANDH RAJARAM

HATFIELD, PA (TIP): Dozens of Primary and Middle school Indian American students between the ages 8 to 12 years performed Indian dances and showcased their Hindi language skills at the annual day event organized by Yuva Hindi Sansthan in Hatfield, PA. The event was organized at Pennfield Middle School in Hatfield, PA on November 23, which coincided with a reunion of students who earlier participated in a federal summer language and culture camp called STARTALK, in which 60 students attended the ten-day language immersion program from August 5 to 16. Addressing the gathering as chief guest, Sugandh Rajaram, Consul-Culture, Consulate General of India in New York, advised USbased educational and cultural organizations to work together for promotion of Hindi. He said that Government of India was eager to support programs aimed at promoting Hindi learning abroad including the United States.


Teachers of YHS STARTALK 2013 at the Reunion Day on November 23, 2013. Ashok Ojha, program director of YHS STARTALK Hindi 2013 and president of Yuva Hindi Sansthan is third from left

The consulate was interested in helping organizations involved in language teaching in the heritage communities. We would like to work with them overcome their challenges”, he said. He complimented educational programs undertaken by Yuva Hindi Sansthan, a nonprofit educational institution, which is actively involved in implementing modern learning methodologies for Hindi teaching. “As a representative of the Indian Government I offer my assistance in fulfilling this great cause”, he told the audience that progress of Hindi was essential for ensuring the progress of other Indian languages. ” Dr. Surendra Gambhir, YHS Chairman in his message, congratulated YHS STARTALK students for their commitment to learning Hindi. Emphasizing that learning a language was the key to success in life he told the young learners: “Learning new languages and other cultures sharpens your mind and enhances your IQ. You will be so happy in your later life that you decided to become a bilingual, just the way your parents are.”

“Yuva Hindi Sansthan has developed a pool of trained teachers, most of whom are native speakers of Hindi, who managed classes during the camp”, said Ashok Ojha, program director of YHS STARTALK Hindi 2013 and president of Yuva Hindi Sansthan. “We engage our students in real life activities in which they speak Hindi in unrehearsed situations. For example, they learn how to express their likings in a restaurant, how to introduce themselves and ask questions about others. Our goal is to prepare heritage students to be proud of their heritage by speaking the language and practicing the culture. “We are negotiating with IT experts to help us develop useful online lessons for the three levels: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced”, Ojha informed. Mrs. Usha Mishra, YHS secretary, pointed out YHS activities went beyond holding SARTALK programs and needed generous contributions from community members and supporters for meeting organizational obligations. She thanked past and present supporters of YHS who contributed to YHS donation fund.

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Mrs. Sanjyot Tatke, treasurer, presented the financial statement of Yuva Hindi Sansthan as of December 31, 2012. She played a 10 minute YHS STARTALK Hindi 2013 video highlighting major activities of the program held from August 5 to 17, 2013. She also showcased the website where students projects and videos were posted. She then invited students to showcase their continued learning activities. Alka Singhvi, instructor, showcased a web tool, which was helpful creating multimedia stories using photos and texts. She also presented a number of websites and tools that enable users practicing Hindi writing. Varsha Naik directed students to perform dances learned during the camp. Yagnesh Choksi, former director of Bensalem Township School Board, said that the Indian community in Bensalem was eager to help and support Yuva Hindi Sansthan in its endeavor to promote Hindi in Pennsylvania.

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