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Governor inaugurates All India Santali Writers’ Conference

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Jamshedpur : Governor Draupadi Murmu on Saturday expressed need of involving every individual to promote tribal languages and culture, conceding it was among the reasons why many children of the community weren’t learning their mother tongue. Murmu was addressing the 29th All India Santali Writers’ Conference being organised at Sidhgora Town Hall. The two-day meet was inaugurated by the Governor.

Addressing the gathering, the Governor said that although the Government is taking steps to promote the languages but every individual should also take his or her responsibility to spread its reach.

Citing examples, Murmu said even smaller nations of the western world preserved their traditions, languages and culture to maintain their identity.

“Our State is rich of tribal languages and culture. But, despite having a very rich culture in all respects, tribals including Santhals are forgetting their culture, tradition and language, which is not a positive sign,” she said. She added that in order to maintain their identity the tribals must work hard to promote their culture.

Over 1,000 delegates from across the country are participating in the conference. The event has brought Santhali writers and scholars from various states under one platform to discuss the challenges and scope of Santhali language and literature in present-day society.

Jamshedpur MP BidhyutBaranMahto also motivated the tribals to speak their languages and work to enrich their literature.

On the occasion, All India Santali Writers’ Association East Singhbhum secretary, Rabindranath Murmu said that the central government has included Santhali language in Eighth Schedule, but Jharkhand is yet to notify it as a second language.

“Through the meet, we aim to make the state government aware of the need to promote Santhali language and literature. The delegates, who have come from across the country, will help us achieve our objective” he noted.

The sessions on the first day focussed on themes like current and academic status of Santhali language, participation of women in the field of Santhali language and culture.

The second day will focus on topics like publication of books, magazines and paper in Santhali, role of NGOs and other organisations to promote the language, documentation of oral literature of Santhali language.

“We also demand a Sahitya Akademi in Jharkhand on the lines of the ones in Odisha and Bengal.

We also want introduction of Santhali language in schools and recruitment of teachers in the subject,” Murmu added.
He further added that Santhalis numbered around 75 lakh across Odisha, Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, nowadays the language was not spoken in every Santhal home.

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