Central Institute of Indian Languages

Central Institute of Indian Languages to provide fillip to Birhors

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Jamshedpur : The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore is gearing up to provide fillip to Birhors. Acting on the directives of the Union human resource development department, the CIIL has taken up the Scheme for the Preservation and Protection of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) in the country. Among the 500 endangered languages spoken, Birhor is one endangered language in Jharkhand where scholars are researching to collect the datas.

A three member team comprising S. Imtiaz Hasnain from Aligarh Muslim University, Sangeeta Sarkar from Calcutta University and Farooq Ahmed Mir from Kashmir University are engaged on collecting information. The other two languages which they have taken up is tribal language of Himachal Pradesh.

“Our aim is to preserve and protect the dying language. The problem today is that communities exist but it is the number of speakers which are dwindling making the language on the verge of extinction. Our team is trying to gather as many data possible so that we can preserve the language in some form,” said Hansnain who is a scholar and faculty member of linguistics at Aligarh Muslim University.

The documentation will be taken up under the Union government’s Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India. Under this, the CIIL will document all the tribal, non-tribal and non-scheduled languages/mother tongues of the State spoken by less than 10,000 people.

The Government of India has identified 500 such languages which are endangered on the parameters of their number of speakers below 10,000. The current decision has been taken according to the 2001 census. Since the numbers of languages are disappearing due to globalization and overpowering strong languages.

Birhore tribes are one of the primitive tribes of Jharkhand that needs care and a focused approach for the development. Tribal Cultural Society (TCS), Tata Steel, is supporting 30 children belonging to the Sabar and Birhore tribes from the villages of Patamda block, by enrolling them in two schools namely St. Thomas High School, Gandedungri and Loyola School, Chaira.

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