To promote Punjabi, especially among the youth, the Punjabi Jagriti Manch is organising a 'Punjabi March' of February 21 to mark the International Mother Language Day.
Organisation secretary Deepak Bali has said that a campaign has been launched to create awareness amongst the school managements in the district. He was addressing a gathering at the Bharat Swabhiman Trust in Model House.
Bharat Swabhiman Trust president Surinder Sharma said that Punjabi culture, language and traditions was under the threat of extinction.
"This march will add confidence and motivate students not to feel embarrassed by their mother tongue."
He claimed that several social, religious and political organisations had confirmed their participation in the march.
On the majority of private schools discouraging the use of Punjabi, he said: "We will hold meetings with private schools. We have also submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, demanding action against schools, who do not teach Punjabi from Class 1-10, a compulsion," Bali said.
He added that they had held meetings with heads of religious placs to promote the language.
"There are schools who fine students for speaking in Punjabi." Bali claimed that more than 12,000 students were expected to participate in the march, as school managements had declared their support to the campaign.
The march would cover major parts of the city after starting from Lyallpur Khalsa School and would end at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall, where noted Punjabi singers including Manmohan Waris, Satinder Sartaj, Lakhwinder Wadali, Nachhatar Singh, Diljan, Jyoti and Sultana Nooran, Mangi Mahal would perform.
Students, staff and principals of schools including SSS Public School, New National Model School, Surya Model School, Excellent Vidya Kendra, Evergreen Public School, Dashmesh Public School, Bhagat Namdev Girls College participated in the discussions.
International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952, when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital, of what is now Bangladesh.