The existence of the only Sanskrit college, established about eight decades back, of district Ferozepur is at stake as merely 18 students are left in the college. The college has a history of imparting education to hundreds of students in Sanskrit every year.
However, since other professionally remunerative subjects have become more popular, the number of students has been decreasing gradually. The college is being run by the Shri Sanatan Dharma Samiti, Fazilka.
The successive governments did not care to preserve the precious ancient Sanskrit heritage which was being kept alive by the Sanatan Dharma Sanskrit College of Fazilka.
Sanskrit subjects of Prayag-1, Prayag-2 and Shastri part I, II and final are being taught by only two teachers engaged by the management.
Sanskrit is an elective subject and the the government too does not seem to be keen to promote it.
Now, only those students are eager to take admission in the college who want to pursue their career as religious preachers in armed or para-military forces. Another section of students include those who want to follow the profession of astrology.
The Sanatam Dharma Samiti (Fazilka) has been able to preserve one of the oldest institution of the town.
No fee is charged from the students. They are provided with free lodging and boarding facilities.
Even the teachers have been offering free services under the able guidance of octogenarian Sanskrit scholar and eminent teacher Pt. Sadhu Ram Shastri for the last about half a century.
The Periwal family, noted philanthropists of the town, established a trust to run the college. The members of the family residing in distant areas of the country contribute benevolently. The philanthropists of the town also provide necessary financial help to the managing committee, says Sushil Periwal, president of the Samiti. He added that they would run the college and promote Sanskrit education despite all odds.
However, he said if the government provides financial assistance to the Samiti, a registered body, it can restore the old glory of the only college. — Praful C Nagpal