T.N. has highest number of Hindi students

73% of pracharaks in South are in State

Published - August 27, 2018 01:33 am IST - CHENNAI

Political parties may oppose Hindi, but people in the State are actively learning the language.

“In Tamil Nadu, Hindi is taught in self-financing schools, using the syllabus of the Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha,” says Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha (DBHPS) general secretary S. Jayaraj.

“As the number of students went up in the last two years, we had to reschedule our exams,” he adds.

The sabha holds exams in February and August. Student strength is lower in August. Usually, the examinations are held on second Saturdays and Sundays. The lower-level exams are held on Sunday and higher-level exams are held on Saturdays and Sundays, he says. “There has been a rise in the number of students in the last two years and we have difficulty in finding centres. So we have moved the lower-level exams to first Sundays and the higher-level exams to second Saturdays and Sundays,” he said.

“Students start learning Hindi when they go to class 8 and will complete the eight exams by the time they turn 16,” says sabha’s former general secretary C.N.V. Annamalai.

In 2017, 1.28 lakh students took Prathmic, the first-level exam.

A lion’s share

Chennai alone has 220 exam centres in private schools. The rest of Tamil Nadu has 158 centres. Unlike in other States, government schools are not centres, Mr. Annamalai says.

The State accounts for 73% of active Hindi pracharaks (teachers) in South India. Chennai has 4,678 pracharaks, more than the number of teachers in the other three southern States of Andhra Pradesh (undivided), Karnataka and Kerala. Together, these States have 3,787 pracharaks and Tamil Nadu has 10,709 teachers.

Data with the sabha, which is celebrating its centenary this year, shows that the language was actively promoted before Independence. In 1927, E.V. Ramasamy Naicker (Periyar) donated his house in Erode for Hindi training college. Between 1918 and 1928, 1,131 students enrolled for Hindi classes. The number of students enrolling for the classes has seen a consistent rise, even during the anti-Hindi movement in the State.

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