CHICAGO: During this pandemic era Hindi Club of Illinois (HCI) has hosted many online events but the one hosted on Sunday, January 10 was rather special. It was celebration of World Hindi Divas.
This was also the first time HCI was hosting this important international Hindi event. Through its stellar ten years history of promoting Hindi overseas HCI was able to collaborate with unique group of highly talented Hindi literary figures from India and the USA.
The event opened with HCI Secretary, Vijay Chopra welcoming the dignitaries, participants and viewers. Program started with a traditional Saraswati Vandana recital by Shweta Srivastav. The event was skillfully anchored by HCI members Dr. Nisha Pandya and Rakesh Malhotra. Introductions of the presenters and their topics were elegantly interspersed with meaningful commentary and poetic couplets making the entire program even more interesting.
The event had a theme based on Hindi literature in focusing on poetry, novels and drama aspects of it. First half of the program was more of an homage to the torch bearers of the past who helped lay a strong foundation for Hindi literature while the later half celebrated the builders and craftsmen of today.
Chief guest Shri Birender K Yadav, a big force behind establishing World Hindi Divas, spoke eloquently about history, challenges and opportunities for Hindi. He further implored all connected with Hindi to move more aggressively from resolutions to activism and help spread it among Indian diaspora with a greater sense of urgency.
Anju Kharbanda shared life and times of famed short story writer Shivani. Bharati Mishra revisited era of the great Maha Devi Verma and how she rose above the foray to excel in Hindi literature against heavy odds. Maneesh Srivastav’s talk about stalwart Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was very insightful.
At the end of first half, HCI Founder and President Gurbachan Kaur Neelam shared some background about the Hindi Club of Illinois and welcomed the participants to this multinational event.
In the second half Promila Kumar, a celebrated and decorated Hindi proponent and social worker and a Chicagoland personality was interviewed by Nisha Pandya. They talked about her journey in promoting and being a pioneer in Hindi. Santiago Pardo, born and raised in Columbia impressed everyone how well versed he was in Hindi. He shared his journey about his passion for Hindi after traveling to India.
Prof Mithilesh Misra of Language Department in University of Illinois Champaign spoke passionately about his involvement as a Hindi pioneer and talked about his vision when Hindi would be popular enough to teach engineering and medicine in the language. Anuraag Misraraj of Dramatech talked about his experiences in rolling out Hindi drama on world stage. In aggregate all speakers pointed out to technological innovations and increasing popularity of internet having the potential to involve current and future generations in promoting Hindi and keep this flame of language and culture burning bright.
Everyone encouraged and asked for more involvement at the grassroots level. Dramatech also entertained the audience with a nicely produced and acted short satirical play ‘सारीबहससेगुजरकर’.
On closing this remarkable event Vijay Chopra thanked honorable guests, all the great participants, the vital technical support of Puneet Chhibber and Punil Vaid, expert compering by Nisha Pandya and Rakesh Malhotra.
HCI will host its next event on February 14, 2021. Of course it will be a Valentine’s Day Special. Please watch our home page www.hindiclub.org or our Facebook page HindiClubIL for details for future events.