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Melbourne gets its own Gurukul

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To help children here in Australia connect with their roots, a Gurukul or a type of residential school was inaugurated here. The brainchild of Mrs and Mr Narinder Garg, the aim of the Gurukull is to connect children with their language and culture. Yoga and other activities are also planned for senior.

Explaining the concepts of the Gurukull, Narinder Garg said it would not be a residential school but have all the other functions of a traditional gurukul. One of the aims was to impart the knowledge of Hindi to children and along with it teach them their culture. It was felt that in a new country it was necessary to do this to those growing up in a different atmosphere and culture. This will make them stick to their own culture and language while learning English living in the adopted country.

Nirmal Kumar, head of Chancery, Indian Consulate, inaugurated the Gurukull with the lighting of a lamp on July 11. He commended the Garg family and team for the much needed initiative.
The programme began with Gurukull students singing the national anthems of Australia and India. An interactive Hindi quiz was conducted by teachers in which all those gathered participated. Chocolates were given away as prizes. This interactive language teaching method is also being used in the classes.

A demonstration of yoga was given by Mr Sagar. A few seniors also addressed the gathering explaining their experiences in Australia and the need to start programs for seniors. A program called ‘Chaupal’ where Indian seniors will socialise and exchange views amongst themselves will help seniors also adjust to the new country.

The event was attended by a large number of members of Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese origin. The atmosphere was cordial and intensely multicultural. People came in colourful traditional outfits and no one missed the opportunity of networking. Those already attending the classes could be seen in the crowd.

‘Gurukull’ has already started Hindi classes where unique teaching methods are being used. The response from families has been tremendous and they are taking keen interest in the project. Attempts are also being made to approach the Victorian School of Languages (VSL) to get any possible help for the organisation.

Narinder Garg said Gurukul was his dream and thanked his team-members Sumit Kakkar, Sarbjit Sing, Mannu, Harmeet, Shalini and Sonia. (TIW)

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