Vikas Kumar Jha presented with Indu Sharma Katha Samman

Besides, Surie bestowed the Padmanand Sahitya Samman on Neena Paul of Leicestershire for her novel 'Talaash'.Congratulating Jha and Paul, Surie said: "Hindi is slowly emerging as a global language. The Market economy has understood that if any multinational wishes to be successful in India, they must have a working knowledge of Hindi.

"Even foreigners have been trying to learn Hindi. Hindi is being taught in the universities of Britain. It would be the earnest endeavour of the Indian High Commission to bring back Hindi in the curriculum at the school level."

Katha UK started this award some 17 years ago.Surie said: "I would like to congratulate General Secretary of Katha UK Tejendra Sharma and his entire team on this occasion and would like to assure him that the High Commission would always support Katha UK for organising events related to Hindi language and literature".

Accepting the award, Patna-based Jha said: "A writer is just a waiter in the Coffee House of the Soul. MaCluskieganj, for me, is like a dream come true. It is like a childhood friend with whom I have shared the thrill of climbing mango, guava and Jamun trees in the afternoons."

Lord Tarsem Singh said, "It is not just the younger generation who needed to learn Hindi but even the older generation should learn to read and write in Hindi."

Labour MP Virendra Sharma, the host of the programme, said: "The campaign started by Katha UK would help Hindi establish its feet firmly in Britain."

The newly nominated Chairperson of Katha UK, Kailash Budhwar said he was not unduly perturbed about the condition of Hindi in the UK.

Paul said: "In my opinion a novel is a confluence of imagination, feelings and emotions. Sometimes the heart of my pen becomes so emotional that it compels me to write. May be that is why my stories are called the stories of emotions. Without emotions my pen refuses to move on paper."

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