Thursday 21 January 2016

Story of a man who reviving Sanskrit in US

Curious story of a man who is working to spread awareness on ancient Indian language Sanskrit in US.

Vadodara: Just when the number of Sanskrit speaking population is on the decline in the country, a Barodian is working hard to spreading awareness on the ancient language in the United States.

Jyoti Yelagalawadi, an alumni of city-based Convent of Jesus and Mary School, has her mother tongue registered as Sanskrit in the United States population census.

"We call our home a Sanskrit Gruham and my family converses in Sanskrit. Our efforts make families speak the classical language.
We want people to enjoy it as much as we do, said Jyoti a trained kathak dancer who has been teaching Sanskrit for the last 17 years under Samskrita Bharati. "Although the language was a part of my upbringing, I began teaching it after shifting base to US," she said.

Both Jyoti and her husband have been spreading awareness about the language for over a decade. Jyoti added that she came in contact with the exponents of the language in 1997 at a community centre in Sunnyvale, California. "Sanskrit was a subject in which I used to score the least in school. But the teachers who taught me the language in school had a passion for it which was infectious. Our 10-day sessions have two-year-olds to senior citizens," added Jyoti.

Her husband Govinda Rao Yelagalawadi, a scientist by profession, quit his job four years ago to spread awareness about the language. According to Jyoti, there are currently over 100 homes in San Francisco Bay Area that converses in Sanskrit. The husband-wife duo has taught Sanskrit to nearly 5,000 individuals since 1998.

"In 2009, my daughter who only speaks Kanada, English and Sanskrit visited Punjab. To our surprise when she began conversing in Sanskrit with the locals at the airport, they were able to understand and even responded in Punjabi," added Jyoti.

Apart from working for the sacred language, Jyoti has also carved a niche for herself by setting up 26 centres for creative writing in English for kids in the US. In a span of 13 years, she has been able to teach 3,000 school children in San Francisco Bay.

Source:The Times of India

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