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“Tamil teachers should be sent abroad to teach NRI children”

Special Correspondent

Mega Thirukkural book prepared at a cost of Rs.five lakh, gifted to VIT library

— Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

Collector C. Rajendran looking at a mega Thirukural Book in VIT University library on Monday. V.G. Santhosam, president, V.G.P. World Tamil Sangam (second from right) and G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University are in the picture.

VELLORE: Tamil teachers should be deputed to foreign countries to teach Tamil to the children in the Non-Resident Indian Tamil families living there, who did not get the opportunity to learn Tamil in view of the practice of the parents speaking in English, G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University said on Monday.

Presiding over the function organised jointly by the VIT University and the VGP World Tamil Sangam in connection with the gifting by the latter of a mega Thirukkural book, written by saint poet Thiruvalluvar more than 2000 years ago, and containing 1330 two-line verses, weighing 1.25 tonnes and measuring six feet high and three feet wide, to the E.V.R. Periyar Library in the VIT University, Mr. Viswanathan said that speaking of Tamil among the Tamil families living in countries like Fiji and Mauritius was declining owing to the practice of the parents not speaking in Tamil, but instead, speaking in English at home.

He requested V.G. Santhosham, who is the president of the VGP World Tamil Sangam to take steps to send Tamil teachers to foreign countries to teach Tamil to the children in the NRI Tamil families there.

The Vellore Tamil Sangam would support such efforts if taken by the VGP World Tamil Sangam, he said, adding that the help of the Tamil Nadu government could also be sought for this purpose. Tamils were living in about 100 countries, he said.

The VIT Chancellor said that no other country in the world could boast of a masterpiece literary work as great as Thirukkural. “Thirukkural should reach the entire world. We should read Thirukkural and enable others to read it”.

The VIT, in association with the VGP World Tamil Sangam, would gift Thirukkural books to all the 16,000 VIT students. Original Thirukkural books would be gifted to the Tamil students, while an English translation of Thirukkural would be gifted to students from other states and countries, he said. The Chancellor said that 25 languages comprising 16 Indian languages and nine foreign languages were being spoken by the VIT students. He thanked Mr. V.G. Santhosham and family for having gifted the mega Thirukkural book, prepared at a cost of Rs.five lakh, to the VIT library.

C. Rajendran, Collector of Vellore who unveiled the book in the VIT library said that Thirukkural which has been translated in 80 languages, is a book which has been translated in the third highest number of languages, next to Bible and Quran. It is a literary work which has been accepted by people speaking all languages, and is a work for all times. Among all the Tamil literary works, Thirukkural has brought the greatest fame to Tamils, he said.

V.G. Santhosham, president, VGP World Tamil Sangam, said that the Sangam prepared the mega Thirukkural book for display at the book exhibition held as part of the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore in June, and the same was appreciated by all the visitors to the conference.

The Sangam had installed statues of Thiruvalluvar in the U.S., Malaysia, Africa, Myanmar and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in order to popularise Thirukkural. He later presented a collection of books written by him to Mr. Viswanathan.

V.G. Selvaraj, general secretary, VGP World Tamil Sangam, said that in his Thirukkural, Thiruvalluvar had imparted several management techniques which were adopted by the VGP Group in its various activities. V.M. Sethuraman, Tamil scholar and Ulaganayaki Palani, Professor of Tamil, Stella Maris College, Chennai spoke. V. Raju, Vice-Chancellor of VIT University thanked the VGP World Tamil Sangam for the gift. S. Narayanan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of VIT welcomed the gathering.

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