A one day Seminar was organized by the National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language on 18th January 2010 at India Islamic Cultural Center, New Delhi from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sindhi scholars, Principals of Sindhi schools, Sindhi teachers, other well-known academicians from all over India, and members of the NCPSL were invited to review the Sindhi Language Learning Courses scheme of the NCPSL.
Shri Suresh Keswani Ex-MP (Rajya Sabha) formally inaugurated the Seminar. In his inaugural address, he said language is the identity of a community and associated with its culture. He pointed out that during his tenure as a Chairman of Linguistic Minority Commission, he realised that every language faces difficulties similar to the Sindhi language and is threatened by the increasing influence of English in the context of globalisation and invasion of a foreign culture with the advent of satellite channels.
He emphasized the need for unity. Citing the examples of China, he said that by adopting one Script for four different languages they succeeded in preserving all of them. Similarly, Jews revived their language by involving religious institutions in the promotion and preservation of their language. Similar methods can be adopted for Sindhi Language by involving panchayats and other religious institutions in this task.
In view of the advancement of technology and modern methodology of teaching, academicians should ponder over the new methods. He also said that a new curriculum should be prepared and CDs/VCDs can also be used to make learning interesting. He suggested that a national centre the for promotion of Sindhi language should be established in India
The Vice-Chairman, welcomed the delegates and gave a brief account of the scheme of Sindhi Language Learning Courses. Explaining the need of present Seminar, he said that during his visits to various towns, cities like Ajmer, Katni, Ulhasnagar, Jalgaon, and in his interaction with students and others, it was strongly felt that there was an urgent need to review the present scheme of Sindhi Language Learning Courses and revamp the whole scheme. The present Seminar, he said, would provide ideas and important suggestions in this direction. He also informed the delegates about various Seminars and programmes organised in various cities during April to December, 2009 with the financial assistance of the NCPSL.
The Director of the Council welcomed the delegates and expressed the hope that innovative ideas will emerge from the discussions which will contribute to streamlining the present scheme of Sindhi Language Learning Courses to make it more suitable according to the changed time and need.
Describing the existing scheme of Sindhi Language Learning as a flagship scheme of NCPSL, Prof. C.J. Daswani said the present course is in itself good and this scheme was designed targeting those children who do not study Sindhi language in the Schools. He regretted that parents think there is no benefit in studying the Sindhi language. He suggested that children’s literature should be written in the language spoken in daily use. He added that comic-books and bi-lingual comics and story books should be published.
He said that special courses should be designed for students willing to opt for Sindhi as a subject in the IAS and Civil Services examinations and coaching should be arranged for them by the NCPSL. He suggested introducing correspondence courses, E-learning and making use of Multi Media courses to reach Sindhis scattered all over India and overseas. He added that new courses should also be introduced and Sindhi Panchayats should be involved in the task of awakening parents towards the importance of Sindhi Learning.
He invited names from the delegates who wanted to participate in the open discussion and give their suggestions in person as well as in writing.
Various suggestions put forward by different delegates were as under:
1. Shri Lachhman M. Khubchandani:
§ Environment and need for Sindhi has changed but inspiration has not subsided.
§ Need for strengthening infrastructure.
§ To adopt a professional approach and recognition for the courses should be obtained.
§ Irrespective of where anybody learns Sindhi he/she should be allowed to appear in the NCPSL examinations.
2. Ms. Renu Idnani:
§ Guidelines are needed for the syllabus prescribed for SLLC Courses.
3. Shri Saral Teckchandani:
· Institutionalized system of teaching should be replaced by Ekal Vidyalay System.
· Sindhi learning should start with speaking followed by reading and writing.
· Teacher’s remuneration should be increased to Rs. 20,000.00 and each Center should be paid Rs. 5,000.00 per annum.
4. Shri Shyam Jumani:
· Union Minister of HRD should be requested to make Sindhi as a compulsory subject in Schools.
· NCPSL should produce Cartoon CDs for Children.
· A concrete proposal should also be submitted to the Ministry for issuing a circular for making available facilities for Sindhi teaching in private Schools.
5. Shri Laxman Das Keswani:
· Private Schools should be helped for introducing Sindhi teaching in their Schools by providing grants.
6. Dr Hasso Dadlani:
· To remove restrictions like the declaration form incorporated in the Sindhi Learning Scheme.
· To involve religious institutions, Darbar Sahib, etc. in the task of Sindhi teaching.
7. Dr. Baldev Matlani:
· The courses of Sindhi teaching through E-learning has already been prepared in Sindh, Pakistan and can be used after taking due permission from the concerned authorities in Pakistan instead of preparing these Courses in India.
8. Shri Rajkumar Kukreja :
§ To make efforts to reach all parts of India.
§ The Council should appoint teachers available at every place. The panel of such teachers should be funded by the Council.
§ To organize training work shop for teachers.
§ To include Roman Script for Sindhi language.
9. Ramesh Varlyani:
· To link Sindhi language with employment opportunities.
· To provide facilities for students preparing for IAS and Civil Services Examinations.
· To felicitate Sindhis clearing the IAS by taking Sindhi as a subject.
10. Durga Thavrani:
· Holding of cultural programmes because they leave a positive effect on the young generation and Non-Sindhis.
· Offered to hand over a big plot in Kolkatta for opening a branch of the NCPSL.
11. Shri Gautam Samrat:
· Correspondence of NCPSL should be in Sindhi instead of English.
· One supervisor should be appointed for 10 classes.
· Negative Marking for mistakes in spelling in the examinations.
· To align Sindhi Learning Courses with free Computer Education.
· To provide scholarship for studying Sindhi at higher level.
12. Dr. Ravi Prakash Tekchandani:
· o seek recognition for Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma Courses.
· Certificate Course should be affiliated with IGNOU.
· The tuition fees of students taking admission for studying Sindhi in Delhi University, University of Mumbai should be paid Gover by NCPSL.
13. Ms. Kanal:
· To prepare a database of Sindhi teachers and students from all over India.
· To introduce lessons about Sindhi personalities, Sindhi Festivals and Folk Tradition in text books.
14. Shri Mahesh Chawla:
· To commence television programme in Sindhi.
· Beginning of Sindhi teaching should be made with the parents.
15. Shri Naval Rai Bachchan:
· Photo of the learner should be affixed on application form.
· Certificate Course should be considered equivalent to standard VIII, Diploma equivalent to standard X and Advance Diploma equivalent to standard XII.
· To include lessons about the life of Sindhi Writers, Saints and Sindhi Culture in the text books.
· Summer camps should be organized for children to acquaint them with Sindhi Art and Culture.
16. Ms. Deepa Wadhwani:
· Identity Cards for students.
· CDs should be provided along with text book of SLLC.
· Summer camps should be organized.
· To organize Seminars to find out the reasons of not learning Sindhi.
17. Shri Roshan Goplani:
· Marks for oral paper should be reduced to 10 and 90 marks for written paper.
· Total marks for Diploma course should be 125 and for Advance Diploma 150.
· Sample paper should be provided at the end of text books.
· Declaration form should be scrapped.
18. Veena Shirngi:
· Present text book is heavy and should be suitably reduced.
· Random inspection of various centers is necessary.
· Transliteration of literature in Devanagri Script.
· Basic knowledge of language should be provided in easy Sindhi.
19. Shri Hemant Kukreja:
· Schools managed by Sindhis should include Sindhi subject
· Government should be convinced that few marks be added on passing Certificate Course like extracurricular activity.
· Sindhi television channel.
· Children’s competitions should be organised.
20. Ms Vishu Belani:
· Database of information about various Courses about Sindhi language and an officer of NCPSL should provide such data.
· Information about various courses, jobs, opportunities and benefits should be made available.
· To build a Sindhu Bhavan.
21. Bharti Kevalramani
· Marks for oral examination should be increased.
· To include lessons about Sindhi Dances, Dresses, Sindhi Cuisines in the text books.
· Regional Branches of NCPSL should be opened.
22. Prem Tolani:
· Need of modification in Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma Courses of the Council and to form a Committee for the purpose.
· To impress upon Sindhi Management Schools to introduce Sindhi subject and teachers should be provided by the Council.
23. Dr. Jani:
· To adopt activity-based and role-play teaching techniques.
· To adopt simulation method (e.g. mock parliament).
· Conditions like filling declaration form should be removed.
24. Ms. Varsha Udhavdasani:
· To write a letter to M.S. University, Vadodra for introducing Sindhi Course.
25. Ms. Rukmani Keswani:
· It is wrong to believe that employment opportunities are not available to those who learn the Sindhi Language.
· Maintain Sindhi identity.
26. Ms. Kamla Goklani:
· To give scholarships to Sindhi learning students.
· An attempt should be made to reach young generation.
Concluding the Seminar Professor C.J. Daswani said that many important suggestions had been received during the discussion and many written suggestions were also submitted by the delegates. He said that these suggestions will be studied carefully and he believed that appropriate steps will be taken by the NCPSL to strengthen the SLLS scheme.
Professor Daswani thanked all the participants for their valuable suggestions.