The Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi started making COVID-19 announcements in Sanskrit language. The initiative has been started by Airpports Authority of India (AAI) together with Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
So far, Hindi and English were the two languages used for these announcements at the airport. But from Friday, Sanskrit was added as the third language for the purpose.
"Now at Varanasi Airport, after English and Hindi, Covid norms are being announced in Sanskrit too. As soon as the passengers enter the airport, they will feel they have entered the hub of Sanskrit language," Varanasi Airport said in a tweet on its official Twitter account in Hindi.
According to airport director Aryama Sanyal, Varanasi has been a centre of Sanskrit since ancient times and the initiative has been started to give respect to the language.
The clip of the broadcast has created a lot of buzz online.
"It is pleasant that the announcement is being made in #Sanskrit at #Varanasi airport. This is a good effort to make Sanskrit the common language. This should happen at Varanasi railway station also," said a Twitter user.
"I always regretted choosing Sanskrit as an optional language in school. On my next trip to Varanasi, I hope that I can show off my Sanskrit skills to the airport staff," said another.
One user questioned why didn't the authorities choose the local Bhojpuri language? "Announcements are made for commuters. How many people can understand Sanskrit? Why not do it in Bhojpuri? The original native language of Varanasi," said his tweet.
The Varanasi airport is located in Babatpur, 26 km from the city. It was renamed Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in October 2005.
The Varanasi airport is the second-busiest airport in Uttar Pradesh.