Rajasthan: Muslim teenager bags first prize in ‘Gita Contest’

Jaipur: 16-year old class student Nadeem Khan bagged the first prize in Bhagvad Gita contest that was recently conducted in Rajasthan.

Nadeem who is a Sanskrit language lover was declared the winner at the state level competition- ‘Gita fest’ which was organized by the Akshaya Patra Foundation along with two other Muslim students Zaheen Naqvi of Class II and Zorabia Nagori of Class IV also from Jaipur. The winners will receive their awards towards.

The Akshaya Patra foundation had organized the Gita fest which included three competitions – essay on Gita, recitation of Gita verses and handwriting competitions. Nearly 8,000 students participated in the fest from over 200 schools across Rajasthan.

Nadeem who studies in a government school, the son of a labourer developed this keen interest and love for language when he started studying it in VI class as his curriculum. However he will not be able to make it to awarding ceremony since he has his exam that day, TOI reported.

Speaking of his win at the fest, Nadeem said, “I find this language best among all known to me. I never found it alien despite the fact that I rarely get a chance to speak it, even in my class. The competition has acknowledged my devotion for the language.”

“In my Sanskrit class, the teacher rarely speaks the language. They ask us to only focus on writing in Sanskrit. I am not fluent in speaking Sanskrit,” he said.

He added, “I have an exam on Wednesday but my parents and grandmother will collect the prize on my behalf.”

Another winner who also bagged a top position after Nadeem, Zaheen, has a similar interest in the language.

Her father Tanveer Ahmed, a government employee in the health department, said, “My daughter worked very hard. Every day she would memorise verses from the Gita for hours to improve her diction and pronunciation. It’s a proud moment for us.”