Mauritius Times – 60 Years Ago
On Sunday next, the 30th instant, the H.P.S. is going to celebrate the 21st anniversary of its foundation at its headquarters at Montagne Longue, under the chairmanship of Mr R. Sewgobind Sharma.
Although it was registered as an association on 24 Dec 1935, yet its work had started much earlier in 1926 when the need for the teaching of Hindi had been felt in Montagne Longue and some Hindi enthusiasts had purchased an arpent of land and erected a building in which a Hindi school was started. In 1935 that Hindi school had already an existence of nine years and had for teacher the late Nemnarain Gupta.
The aim of the H.P.S. is the propagation of Hindi through the running of schools and libraries and organization of lectures. To carry out this aim it has also founded several Hindi schools in other parts of the Island and has helped in the starting and running of many others. It has gradually become an All Mauritius Organisation.
As it is the only association in Mauritius whose sole aim is the propagation of Hindi, it has been possible for it to do very useful and constructive work in this field. It has systematized the teaching of Hindi in the schools affiliated with it, which are 59 in number at present, and has regularly carried out inspections and examinations in them.
At first there was only one school inspector but now there is a Board of Examiners composed of 25 Members who do all the work of inspection and examination without any remuneration.
In 1946 the H.P.S. decided to encourage the study of Higher Hindi and started the Hindi Parichaya Examination. The standard of this examination is that of G.C.E. Ordinary Level. The question papers are prepared and corrected by the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan of Allahabad. Up to now 327 candidates have passed this examination.
This year the H.P.S. has started in Mauritius the Prathama Examination of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan which is being held this week at the Mauritius College, Curepipe. Sixty-seven candidates are sitting for it. Its standard is that of Intermediate BA (Lond) in Hindi and it is an All India Examination.
The members of the association are working heart and soul for the achievement of its aims with such zeal and unity of purpose that they have won universal admiration and praise. In fact, they not only work for the schools affiliated with the association but extend their co-operation to other institutions doing similar work. The present president is Mr J.N.Roy, the vice-president Mr S. Bhuckory and the Secretary Mr S.M. Bhugut.
The association owns about nine arpents of land which are mostly under sugar cane plantation, the yearly crop of which partly solves its financial problem. It has, in addition, a group of Hindi loving friends and sympathizers who are ever ready to help it in times of financial stringency.
During its 21 years of continuous activity, the H.P.S. has put a noble ideal before thousands of the sons and daughters of the Island. It has helped to solve to a great extent the problem of illiteracy. Thousands who would otherwise have remained illiterate can now read and write and express their views in Hindi.
Moreover, the activities of the association have also brought education, civilization and culture all around. Every Hindi school is also a centre of culture and has its humanizing influence. It teaches a way of life, the value of which must not be underestimated, especially in the rural areas. Thousands have disciplined their life and have acquired education, civilization and culture thanks to these Hindi schools and the activities carried on herein.
The Hindi Parichaya and Prathama Examinations have ensured the possibility of employment to the successful candidates. Many of those who have passed the Parichaya are working today in government schools or other private schools. There are centres for the preparation of those examinations throughout the island.
In this 21st year of its existence the H.P.S. can look back with satisfaction at the work already achieved. Much has yet to be performed, indeed. But being given the difficulties it has had to face in the past, the achievement is undoubtedly great.
The future of the H.P.S. is bright. It has today among its members most of the Hindi-knowing youth of the island. They are working zealously for its future and they have the backing of all their elders. Their aim is to bring the great message of Hindi Literature into every Hindi speaking home in Mauritius. They want to produce a galaxy of thinkers and writers who would create a Mauritian Hindi Literature worthy of its name and work for the happiness of all in the Island.
The association intends widening its field of activities. It has a plan for increasing its centres and libraries in the island so as to be able to reach all interested persons.
The H.P.S. needs the encouragement and support of all true Mauritians in its noble enterprise. As it is a non-sectarian and non-religious body, all Hindi loving persons should extend to it their sympathy and help so as to allow it to continue its work with greater speed and redoubled energy.
We sincerely congratulate the gallant workers of the association for the great work already achieved and wish that greater work will be performed by them in future and greater good done to those who are in need of more education in this lsland.
Friday 28th December, 1956
* Published in print edition on 16 August 2019