Gujarati Language Olympiad and Pustak ni Parab projects aimed at promoting Gujarati language among youngsters were declared open on August 24. The projects, which are part of the Vishwa Matrubhasha Abhiyaan, will commence across the state from September 1.
Same day, Narmad-Meghani Bhashaparv, held at the Gujarat Vishwakosh Bhavan, also celebrated the 180th birth anniversary of legendary poet Narmad and the 117th birth anniversary of poet Jhaverchand Meghani (August 28).
Explaining in detail about the Olympiad, poet, short story writer and an executive member of the abhiyaan, Rajendra Patel, said there would be 50 centres across the state for the same.
“Coordinated multi-centre with single layer structure (no hierarchy) will be set up across the state’s five zones South, Central, Saurashtra, North and Kutch. Each of these zones will have 10 centres that will cater to five projects each. Two of them, Pustak ni Parab and Gujarati Language Olympiad, will be dealt with at these centres. They were declared open by state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama,” said Patel.
He further said that under the first project, anybody could come and donate books to the centre as well as take a book from the centre to read. They could either read and return it later or keep it with them forever. And, all this, claimed Patel, is without any monetary benefits to anyone.
“Our aim is to inculcate active public contribution to preserving, promoting and strengthening our Gujarati language. Every year, 1.5% of the population is getting away from the matru bhasha and we intend to stop that. We want to connect the youth of today to their mother tongue,” he said.
As for the Olympiad, Patel said that it would be monitored centrally by the centres across each of the zones. They would decide and collaborate with an institution (educational or non-educational) to organise all sorts of competitions involving Gujarati language.
“Through this medium, we are trying to imbibe love for their mother tongue in schoolchildren. Competitions such as literary quiz, elocution, dialogues, antakshari on folk songs, essay writing in Gujarati and more will be organised for schoolkids between classes VI and XII,” said Patel.