Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Consul General of India in New York inaugurated the 3rd International Hindi Conference , America at the Indian Consulate, April 29. Speaking on the occasion, she appreciated the efforts of the organizers, particularly of the conference coordinator Ashok Ojha for organizing in a short time a conference at which a number of scholars from India are also participating, besides a large number of Hindi scholars, Hindi lovers and Hindi promotes.
Ambassador Das also referred to the efforts of Ministry of External Affairs at promoting Hindi. She said that realizing the importance of Hindi language, MEA has created an independent Hindi section which aims at training diplomats in the use of Hindi and ensures Hindi is given due place in the departmental communications.
The conference was aimed at offering thought-provoking discussions on topics of common interest and entertaining programs including a Kavi Sammelan by leading poets from India and the Diaspora. The conference was organized by Hindi Sangam Foundation in collaboration with the Consulate General of India and various other social and cultural organizations in the Tri-State area. Educational experts, scholars, policy makers, business owners, professionals as well as writers and poets from the U.S., Europe, India and other parts of the world will participate in the conference.
The sessions also included discussions on ‘Teaching Hindi as a heritage language’, ‘Global perspectives of Hindi language and literature’, and ‘Development of Hindi around the world’.
A poetry and essay competition has been organized for students of Middle and High Schools. L.T. Ngaihte, Consul, Consulate General of India will present awards to the winners of the competition.
According to Prof. Gabriela Nik Ilieva, Chief of the Academics Committee, the conference offered unique opportunity for collaboration among stakeholders from various fields including education, business and commerce, art, politics and administration for the growth of Hindi as a world language.
Ambassador Das assured the organizers that the consulate will continue to extend all cooperation in promoting Hindi. Earlier, Conference coordinator Ashok Ojha in his welcome address to the Consul General praised her for her support in organizing the conference. He said he was happy to acknowledge the great support Government of India and Ambassador Das have provided. He added that he was confident the Consulate would continue to provide the all out support for propagating and promoting Hindi. Prof. Heinz W. Wessler, Institute for Linguistics and philology, Uppsala, Sweden delivered the keynote address. Prof. Wessler is born a German. He spoke on Hindi as a language of expression of diverse issues relating to culture, religion and politics.
Speaking in relatively chaste Hindi, given the fact that Hindi is an acquired language for him he said that media whether print or electronic has been helpful in promoting Hindi. He advocated use of common Hindi as spoken by the younger generation. He said there is nothing wrong if some foreign language words are spoken by a person expressing in Hindi. He referred to Munshi Prem Chand’s “Godaan” in which, one comes across the language of common people. He gave details of a number Hindi publications in a number of countries. He also spoke of databases. The video presentation he gave was quite interesting.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr. Bejoy Mehta, chairman of board of trustees, Hindi Sangam Foundation; H. R. Shah, president of TV Asia & chairman of Bharatiya Vidya BHAVAN board of trustees. Purnima Desai, trustee of Hindi Sangam Foundation made a thanksgiving reference and said the organizers were moved to receive an overwhelming support for the International Hindi Conference and requested the audience to turn up for all sessions over the next two days, which also includes a Kavi Sammelan conducted by Prof. Bindeshwari (Bindu) Aggarwal. A cultural performance was presented by students of Rimli Roy.
Evergreen TV Asia anchor Vikas Nangia was a delight as master of ceremonies.
The inaugural session was attended by more than 150 scholars, writers, Patrons and lovers of Hindi.
The main objectives of the Third International Hindi Conference 2016, was to continue providing an effective forum for networking among Hindi and other language professionals and supporters. Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of India, presided over the concluding event of the conference, which will be held on Sunday, May 1. Speakers and supporters of the conference will be honored at the concluding event of the conference.