Monday, July 15, 2024

Use of Santali language increased in govt, non-govt sectors: President Murmu

President Droupadi Murmu on Monday said that the use of the Santali language in government and non-government sectors has increased after it was added to the Constitution as an official language in 2003.

President Murmu, who is on a two-day visit to Odisha, made the remarks on Monday during the inaugural session of the 36th Annual Conference and Literary Festival of the All India Santali Writers’ Association at Baripada in her home district Mayurbhanj.

Addressing the gathering, the President said: “Use of the Santali language has increased in government and non-government sectors after its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution on December 22, 2003.”

She also remembered former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during whose tenure Santali language was included in the Eighth Schedule.

President Murmu appreciated the role played by the All India Santali Writers’ Association in promoting the language since it came into being in 1988.

Remembering the pioneering work of Pandit Raghunath Murmu, the President said that most of the Santali literature was available in the oral tradition till the invention of the Ol Chiki script by Raghunath Murmu. She noted that he not only invented the script but also enriched the language by composing plays like ‘Bidu Chandan’, ‘Kherwal Bir’, ‘Darege Dhan’, and ‘Sido- Kanhu – Santhal Hool’.

She said that it is a matter of pride that Damayanti Besra and Kali Pada Saren – popularly known as Kherwal Saren – have been honoured with Padma Shri in 2020 and 2022 respectively for education and literature.

President Murmu further urged the writers to write about the lifestyles of tribal communities so that other people could know about the life values of tribal society.

She also inaugurated an Eklavya Model Residential School at Kuliana in Mayurbhanj on the day.

The President expressed pleasure that more than 700 Eklavya Model Residential Schools are being established across the country for the education of tribal children. She said that in these schools more than 3.5 lakh tribal students.

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