Hyderabad: Despite the government spending lakhs of rupees on printing calligraphy books and supplying them to schools, the art remained a dream for students.
In schools, students from Class I to X were supplied calligraphy course books printed by the SCERT in 2014 and this is continuing.
“There are no teachers who are familiar with the art. The course was introduced as an extra-curricular activity for which 20 marks was allotted,” explains Mohammed Abdul Gaffar, master calligrapher who trains students at the Idara-e-Adabiyat-e-Urdu in Panjagutta.
The government issued GO 313 in 1990 in this regard, but for reasons unknown it was kept on the back burner. “Implementation of the GO will lead to appointment of qualified calligraphy instructors in government and aided high schools in the state,” says Mr Gaffar.
He said that beyond a hobby, there was a great demand for calligraphers in foreign countries, especially West Asia. “The universities of Cambridge and Oxford award degrees where calligraphers pen down the names of recipients,” said Mohammed Samiuddin, another eminent calligrapher.
The ‘Idara-e-Adabiyat’ offered a two-year diploma course in calligraphy and graphic design under the sponsorship of the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL). “About 50 students are accommodated at the institute, including professionals like engineers and doctors,” he said.
English, Arabic and Persian calligraphy is also taught there. Round-hand script, draughtsman letter, swing letter, chancery cursive, gothic letter and old English were taught.
There were a total of 108 alphabets in Urdu calligraphy. There are 36 letters and in Urdu calligraphy each letter is written in three different forms depending on its place in the word.
Ravali Reddy, an intermediate student learning English calligraphy, said she was here to improve her writing skills. “The course helps one improve concentration and is also a stress buster,” she adds.
Research scholars also learn calligraphy as most of the literature and manuscripts are written in Persian and Urdu calligraphy style and to understand it they needed to know the art.
Director of Telangana State Urdu Academy Prof Shukhoor said they were writing to the Government to start a few more centres in the State.