New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday exhorted the people to learn at least one Indian language apart from their mother tongue and carry out day-to-day work in Hindi and other languages of the country.
       
Addressing a function on the occasion of Hindi Day, the President said there are 1,700 languages in India and adequate steps must be taken for their development.
    
"Let's take the pledge to do our day-to-day work through Hindi and other Indian languages. Everyone should learn Hindi and in addition to that, every Indian should learn at least one Indian language apart from his or her own mother tongue," she said.
    
Patil said India is a country of diversity with different customs, traditions, food and language.
    
"This diversity is the unique distinction of our culture," he said.
    
The President said the people of the country fought against the colonial rule together and Hindi and other Indian languages made a significant contribution in this struggle.
    
She said after India attained independence, several plans and programmes were formulated to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people.
    
"Under these circumstances, the country felt the need for a common language. And after much discussions and deliberations, the founders of our Constitution accepted Hindi as the language for the common use and on this day in 1949 adopted Hindi as the official language of the country," she said.
    
The President honoured 43 government organisations and 14 writers with special rewards and cash prize for promotion of Hindi language.

(Agencies)