Satara School Brings Back Ancient 'Modi' Script

Satara School Brings Back Ancient 'Modi' Script

Modi script was taught in Maharashtra school education till 1950, however, it was stopped after that due to printing issues.

Sunidhi VijayUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 04:19 PM IST
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Satara School Brings Back Ancient 'Modi' Script | Special Arrangement

In Satara’s Vijay Nagar, the Primary Zila Parishad school is teaching its students the ancient ‘Modi’ script in the hope of reviving it. The initiative which was launched in October 2023, now boasts 35 students from classes two to four who can properly read and write in the script. 

All the historical documents, including letters and pieces of writing recovered from the times of Peshwas, or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s era in Maharashtra, were written in the ‘Modi’ script itself. The script was included in school education till 1950, however, it was stopped after that due to printing issues. The script was in the limelight once again due to the Maratha reservation stir. This happened because all the records till 1960 were written in Modi script.

Balaji Jadhav, Principal of the school said, “Very few people know about this script. In fact, the Maharashtra government had once announced a vacancy for people who understand this script but did not receive enough applications for it.” He further added that learning this script will open further doors for the students in the field of research and translation. 

Jadhav along with deputy teacher Sheshaba Narle started teaching the students Modi script right from scratch. “We first introduced them to the letters, we taught them three to four letters per day and gradually increased it. In about one month, the students had learned the alphabet, after which they were taught small words, reading and writing.”  

This whole exercise was aided with the help of tablets and technology that the students already had access to. 

Jadhav claims that he learned the language first through YouTube and then by enrolling on an online course at North Maharashtra University.

“The students faced a little difficulty in learning the alphabet because every language is very distinct to each other. However, we started with the easy ones and they slowly grasped it all. We had difficulties in learning idioms but that was also solved by watching online videos,” he said, adding that there are some similarities in Devanagari and Modi script. “I wrote the alphabet first on the smartboard, the students then followed suit and practised the same on their tablets,” Jadhav said. 

The school runs various skill development programmes for its students and is also in collaboration with 40 countries. The students were earlier taught skills like playing the piano, archery and soap making, among other things. Japanese and French language were also earlier taught to the students of the school. 

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