Camp on `Preservation of manuscripts' begins

MYSORE, FEB. 26. A two-day awareness camp on "Preservation of manuscripts'' conducted by Oriental Research Institute (ORI) was inaugurated here on Thursday.

The objective of the camp is to highlight the importance of preserving manuscripts. Students from various colleges in the city are participating in it.

M.S. Nagaraj Rao, former Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), who inaugurated the camp, said the importance of palm leaf manuscripts went beyond their literary value. They had tremendous historical significance.

The manuscripts contained historically relevant information and threw light on socio-economic conditions apart from being a repository of philosophical wisdom.

"The wisdom of ancient India is enshrined in its manuscripts,'' he added. C.D. Narasimhaiah, director of Dhvanya Loka, who spoke on the importance of ORI, described it as a treasure house of knowledge with rare collections of ancient manuscripts and called for their preservation.

ORI has been recognised as a Manuscript Resource Centre by the National Mission for Manuscripts launched by the Prime Minister recently. The mission has identified 24 centres in country to launch a survey to retrieve ancient manuscripts and publish them.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 manuscripts across the State to be retrieved and preserved for posterity.

Of them, 50,000 are reckoned to be with individuals and temples while the rest are with religious institutions or academies.

The institute Director, K.V. Ramesh, and the Project Coordinator, H.R. Nagaraja Sharma, were present.