DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand will soon have one 100% Sanskrit speaking village ‘Sanskrit Gram’ in every developmental block of the state.
The pilot project will be launched by March-end from Srinagar assembly constituency of higher education minister Dhan Singh Rawat. At present, the hill state has 95 development blocks.
“Sanskrit language experts from will visit the villages and train, educate people to speak the language within six months of time period,” said the minister.
The district education officer has been asked to suggest names of villages, from which the final names of villages will be selected by the minister.
Sanskrit was made the second official language of the state in 2010 by the then chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who is now Union Human Resources Development Minister.
Last year, the state government had decided to make the language compulsory in all government and private schools from Class 3 to 8.
Shekhar Pathak, a Padma awardee historian said, “The step is praiseworthy to promote the language but we should also pay same attention towards local languages too.”
At present, four major languages are spoken in Uttarakhand including Hindi, Kumaoni, Garhwali and Jaunsari. According to estimates over 89% of the state populace speaks Hindi (45%) followed by Garhwali (23.03%), Kumaoni (19.94%) and Jaunsari (1.35%).
Other languages spoken in the hill state are Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Nepali, Maithili, Tharu, Jan, Rangpo, Darmiya, Byangsi, Raji, Chaudangsi and Rawat to name a few. Main regional languages Kumaon and Garhwali have been accorded status of endangered languages by the UNESCO.
Earlier this year Haridwar-based Uttarakhand Sanskrit Academy has made the Sanskrit language compulsory in its campus from January 26, 2020.
India has seven villages which use the Sanskrit language in their day to day affairs. Mattur village, 300 kilometres from Bengaluru in Karnataka is one such village.