Few takers for shorthand

This can be evident by the number of students, who appeared for the annual speed competition organised by Shorthand Writers' Association of Karnataka (SWAK), this year.

From over 1000 students, who took part last year from eight centres across the state, the number of participants has dropped to around 750 in five centres, this year.

Still, the enthusiasm among the practitioners of shorthand was evident during the prize distribution ceremony held by the association on Sunday.

The awards were given to winners of six speed levels in English and four speed levels in Kannada. Most students are from polytechnic, vocational and commerce colleges, where shorthand is a subject.

Handy skill

S V Murthy, SWAK's vice president, said despite the preference of computers over the written art, shorthand came in handy in people's profession.

“There is plenty of opportunity for shorthand writers in the government offices. But one shouldn't stop by being a stenographer because with hard work the person can reach higher posts," said SWAK president H B S Aradhya, who from being a typist in BBMP retired as a Deputy commissioner in the organisation.

Deepa Rani P M, who won the first prize in 90 words per minute category from the City, said, "I learnt shorthand because it's part of my curriculum. However, it comes very handy in taking down recipes or taking notes from somewhere at a faster rate." Rani is a final year student of Commercial Practices course.

Besides the few takers, the institutes for shorthand are dwindling in numbers. "There were around 220 institutes in the state till 1980s with around 150 in the city itself. Now, there are hardly 20-25 institutes left in the state and maybe six to eight institutes in Bangalore," he said.

DH News Service

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