State plans Marathi lessons for non-Maharashtrian auto drivers, hawkers
In a bid to promote Marathi language among non-Maharashtrians in the city, the state government will soon launch an initiative for non- Maharashtrians autorickshaw, taxi drivers, hawkers and labourers in the city to learn Marathi.
The state government aims to teach Marathi to 5,000 autorickshaw, taxi drivers, hawkers and labourers in a year and the first phase will start from May 1.
The state government will conduct classes in different areas of the city. Non-Maharashtrians drivers will be approached after getting their details from the state transport department.
Further, the drivers can themselves also register for the classes. The state government will also take help from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and local corporators in different civic wards in the city.
“We are aiming to provide learning resources, especially among the non-Maharashtrian population as they are willing to learn. They are a part of the city and we are attempting to reach out to them. We will provide online resources as well,” said Prajakta Lavangare Verma, secretary, Marathi Bhasha department of state government.
Autorickshaw drivers have appreciated the initiative and have stated that the learning programme would help new drivers. “Majority of the non- Maharashtrians have a domicile certificate and can converse in Marathi. However, new drivers find it difficult, particularly the locations and routes. It is a good initiative as more people will be able to learn the language.” said Ashfaque Khan, autorickshaw driver and resident of Chembur.