Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, several professionals from diverse fields in Maharashrta's Aurangabad have come together to learn Modi, a cursive script formerly used for writing Marathi.
Many historical documents in Marathi, besides inscriptions found at historical sites, are in the Modi script.
An Aurangabad-based expert of Modi script, Dr Kamaji Dakh, has formed a social media group over a month ago to provide lessons to the enthusiasts.
Dakh, who works as a co-ordinator with the state Archeology Department in Aurangabad, said, "Modi script evolved during the Yadava dynasty was in used even in the post-Independence period."
"This script was used more during the Maratha period, but declined after the 1960s as it was tough for printing and hence the current form of Marathi writing was used extensively," he said.
Dr Dakh said, "The group was formed after some heritage lovers from different fields expressed a wish to learn this script. So far, I have taught Modi alphabets and words. Now participants have even started writing letters using in this script."
There are 46 members in the social media group.
Aashay Mistry, a final year law student and one of the group members said, "I had heard about the script from my father, but never got a chance to learn it. I joined this group and now I can identify alphabets and write words in this script. As there is no college at present, I am utilising my time to learn this script."
Another member, Jyoti Kulkarni, who is a retired government employee said, "Earlier, we were required to travel to attend the classes for learning the script, but now we can learn it by sitting at home."
Architect Pradeep Deshpande, who is using the lockdown period to practice Modi script said, "Most of historical documents in Maharashtra were written in this script. Hence, learning it will help in the study of the ancient documents," he said.