The Waitakere Hindi School that opened its South Wing earlier in May 2019 hosted an 'open day' for the public to visit the school and observe its operations.
The Hindi language school started in 2001 with six students in west Auckland, has over the years and through sheer hard work of the volunteers with a passion to spread the knowledge of Hindi language expanded to 190 students combining both the south and west wings, with 86 students enrolled in the south wing alone in the last four months attending weekly classes.
"The demand for Hindi school has been phenomenal, and now we have received requests to start the school in North Shore, Hamilton and Palmerston North," Saten Sharma, president of Waitakere Hindi School told The Indian Weekender.
The open day event of the Hindi School- South Wing being operated at the premises of Papatoetoe High School was held on Sunday, September 8 that was attended by over one hundred community members, students of the school, community leaders and parliamentarians.
Present at the event were Minister of Transport Phil Twyford, MP Deborah Russell, National MP Nikki Kay, Councillor Efeso Collins, Ami Chand from Portage Licensing Trust, Labour Party candidate for Manurewa-Papakura Ward at Council Elections Ilango Krishnamurthy, President of Waitakere Indian Association Sunil Kaushal and former President of Waitakere Indian Association, Mahendra Sharma.
Speaking at the event, MP Nikki Kay mentioned about her current bill to bring the second language in the mainstream schools and the importance of organisations like Waitakere Hindi School making a submission the select committee.
"Speaking more than one language has enormous cognitive, cultural, social and economic benefits; New Zealand is a diverse country where 160 languages are spoken, and it's important that what's being taught in schools reflects that," MP Nikki Kaye said at the event.
Minister Phil Twyford lauded the efforts of Waitakere Hindi School for bringing the number of the students of the school to 190 and still growing.
"I congratulate the executive board members of Waitakere Hindi School, showing their leadership and bringing the school to South Auckland now," Mr Twyford said.
The Hindi school besides teaching traditional Hindi lesson such as reading, writing and speaking in Hindi offers music classes too such as playing Tabla and Harmonium and classical Indian dances.
"We have four different classes, and our senior class has adults learning Hindi too.
"Students learn how to play harmonium and Tabla, sing few bhajans, kirtans and also basics of classical Indian dance to Kathak," Mr Sharma added.
Saten Sharma from the school thanked Councillor Efeso Collins for has offering his assistance to the school and setting up meetings with local leaders to see how the school can work together for the betterment of communities.
Mr Sharma added that MP Deborah Russell is in the process of setting up a meeting for Waitakere Hindi School and Minister of Ethnic Affairs to discuss future activities and support.
"MP Deborah Russell echoed the importance of children learning their first language and was full of praises to see all the wonderful students giving up their Sundays to learn the language," Mr Sharma added.
Waitakere Hindi School- South Wing is planning to organise Children's Charity Show where the school's students will showcase their talents and all that they have learnt at the school.
Mr Sharma further added that the school is facing enormous challenges as the board members are operating on a voluntary basis and the enrolments are rising, which is currently at 190.
"The Government of the day needs to recognise and support the school so we can continue to provide this invaluable service to our communities.
"We need to bring all other organisations who are doing a wonderful job in providing Hindi Language services to come under one umbrella and work collaboratively and have one voice to seek assistance from our Government and further develop our resources," Mr Sharma said.