New strategies unfolded to further enhance Hindi language in Trinidad
By Paras Ramoutar
Port-of- Spain: Several religious and cultural groups are being netted to embark on a sustained and
aggressive onslaught to further enhance the teaching of Hindi in Trinidad and Tobago, according to
Chanka Seetarram, president of the Hindi Nidhi Foundation.
He told over 500 guests at the World Hindi Day function on Saturday at the Chinmaya Mission, McBean,
Couva that the Foundation was, ”dialoguing and formulating a path forward with the various Boards of
Religions to give effect to this plan.” Sectors include: The Maha Sabha, Chinmaya Mission, SWAHA, Arya
Pratinidhi, ASJA, Bharatiya Vidya Sansthaan, Presbyterian and Catholic.
Plans are afoot to approach the Ministry of Education to increase the number of primary and secondary
schools teaching Hindi, publishing a Hindi column in the three daily newspapers, workshops for radio
announcers, organizing Hindi programmes on television.
Seetaram said funding has been approved to teach Hindi at 25 primary and secondary schools. However,
he said only half of the schools were teaching the subject because the administration relegated the
teaching of Hindi during Religious Instruction period or lunch time. “It is interesting to note that the
most promising school that teach Hindi in Trinidad is the Holy Faith Convent in Couva, and this clearly
signifies that Hindi should not confused with religion.”
Seetaram added: “Clearly, 150 years ago when the Presbyterians came to Trinidad, they introduced their
religion through Hindi in various East Indian districts. As a matter of fact, the Presbyterians were the first
to translate the Holy Bible in Hindi. He added that the Presbyterian Board has agreed to accelerate the
teaching of Hindi in its school system.
Indian High Commissioner, Shri Bishwadip Dey pointed out that Hindi is spoken in 150 countries by
hundreds of millions of people. He noted that through modern technology and the internet make it easy
to learn a language which is growing in global demand. “Our efforts will fruitful if Hindi I taught in
colloquial use, for simple day to day work to start with daily usable items like vegetables, puja and
kitchen items, should be learnt in Hindi.
Dey continued: “To make learning easy, the beginners can have and easily schedule to learn a word in a
week, in a year they will have a glossary of 52 word as time passes by, and they will be interested to
initiate a conversation in Hindi.”
The High Commissioner said that there are 15 centres across Trinidad and Tobago in Hindi are given and
offered to start other classes.
Couva Member of Parliament, Rudy Indarsingh urged all to learn a foreign language. Swami
Prakashananda , spiritual leader of the Chinmaya Mission, spoke of the great philosophical and spiritual
message and thoughts can be sourced through the learning and speaking of Hindi.
Source: World Hindu News (WHN)