M. Balaganessin

About 200 students took part in competitions organised by Samskrita Bharati

TIRUCHI: There has been a sharp increase in the number of students opting for Sanskrit as the second language at their schools.

Encouraged by the growing interest among the student community,, the Tiruchi district unit of the Samskrita Bharati observed the `Samskrit Day' this year in a different way by organising an exclusive week-long competitions on different topics for three class-groups of students with Sanskrit as the optional language in their curriculum.

"About 200 students from 15 schools in the city participated in these competitions and understood the literary and cultural significance of the language beyond the frontiers of their academic curricula", says the Tiruchi District Organiser, Samskrita Bharati, T.S. Rangarajan.

Each event was held for three class-groups of students.

The first group comprised juniors from VI and VII standards; second from VIII to X standards; while students of Plus One and Plus Two courses represented the third group.

The events, among other things, included chanting of `slokas' from the Bhagavad Gita, recital of poems (gitam), conversation (sambhasana pradhanam), oratorical (Bhashanam), quiz and drama contest.

The competitions provided an opportunity to the students to master the nuances of the spoken Samskrit.

For instance, the dramas on `Friendship', `Propagation of Samskrit' and `Vibhishana saranagathi' brought to light students' talents in dialogue delivery in consonance with the emotion and the situation.

"Inclusion of curricular components made the competitions not onlyinteresting, but also enabled the students to get an in-depth knowledge of eminent Sanskrit writers and scholars like Kalidasa, Panini, Dhandi and Patanjali" says Mr. Rangarajan.

Based on the maiden experience, which will be a regular feature in the years to come, he has plans to improvise the competitions, especially in the quiz competition by introducing audio and visual impact.

At the valediction held on Saturday, the State secretary, R. Ramachandran, said Samskrita Bharati has brought out a book, `Pride of India', which contained `slokas' on various scientific principles and theories, long before they were enunciated by scientists.

He also honoured the winners with prizes.

The secretary of the Saranathan Engineering College, S. Ravindran and Gopalakrishnan from Agathiar Book Stall, honoured the Samskrit teachers with mementoes each.