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Efforts To Restore
Ancient Manuscripts

By  Courtesy ANI

An institute of Indology in Gujarat, home to thousands of manuscripts, has undertaken a project to catalogue and restore rare storehouses of ancient wisdom.

Authorities of the L.D. Institute in Ahmedabad say they have so far been able to salvage 75,000 manuscripts, many of them centuries old, in over nine months of sustained efforts. "Manuscripts are a fund of knowledge which have not been published so far, and any researcher who has to conduct a meaningful research, besides the published works where he can get limited knowledge, has to refer to manuscripts to get more and more detailed information on that subject," said D.S. Paya, a researcher from Jaipur.

"There are many mistakes in published editions of sanskrit texts. So for correct reading,I refer to manuscripts," said Hisuyasu Kobayashi, a researcher from Japan. The institute has so far procured its enviable treasure of these priceless manuscripts from private collections.

Jitendra Shah, Director of the L.D. Institute of Indology, said that emotional attachment of the people with mauscripts makes it difficult for the people to part with these priceless national treasures.

"We try to convince people to give their manuscripts to libraries such as ours. They still would retain the ownership of the manuscripts, but the scripts would be preserved and used for public benefit," said Shah. According to an estimate, there are around five million manuscripts across the country of which Gujarat alone is said to have 500,000 of them. But till date only 250,000 manuscripts are available with different institutes of Gujarat.

Besides Sanskrit, the department is also preserving other language manuscripts, like those scripted in ancient Indian languages, like, Prakrit, Gujarati and Tamil and Persian.

Some of the manuscripts are written on palm leaves and handmade paper and carry information on varied subjects like theology, history, philosophy, Ayurveda and Sanskrit grammar. .


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