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Meet celebrates Kurukh heritage

Ranchi, Dec. 15: Governor Syed Ahmed today advocated all-round growth of every language at the first-ever international conference on Kurukh in the state capital.

Har kali phool bane, phool mahakte rahe (Let every bud bloom into a flower that remain fragrant),” the chief guest said at the inauguration of the two-day meet.

The conference on the language of the Oraon community, organised by Kurukh Literary Society of India, drew over 250 delegates from Jharkhand, neighbouring Bihar, Bengal, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, as well as Nepal, Bhutan, Japan and the US at Ranchi University’s Aryabhatta Auditorium.

The governor also promised help in response to appeals of L.N. Bhagat, vice chancellor Ranchi University, and R.N. Bhagat, his counterpart in Vinoba Bhabe University, to promote regional languages.

Bishop Nirmal Minz, a well-known Kurukh writer speaking in the tribal tongue, said those who excelled in academia did so by taking up English. The Oraons could excel only if they spoke, read and wrote Kurukh, he added, urging the community to promote the Tolang Siki script.

Shiv Narayan Oraon, a former MP from Nepal, pointed out that Kurukh was widely spoken by the 2 lakh Oraons in the neighbouring nation. “For the past two years, our children in southern Nepal are getting a chance to have primary education in Kurukh,” he said, adding the system was introduced on trial basis.

Premanand Tigga from Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh, said the state government had accepted a proposal for primary education in Kurukh and “it is likely to be introduced in the next academic session”.

Two technical sessions on Kurukh language and literature were also held on Day 1.

The Kurukh literary society has been organising national Kurukh meets at different cities of the country since 2006 for consolidating and strengthening the community.

It has organised the international conference for the first time this year and involved Oraons from outside the country to improve ties with them, informed Ashok Baxla, national secretary.

There is ample scope for pursuing higher education and even research in regional languages including Kurukh in Jharkhand. But tribals complain that they are not able to pursue primary education in their mother tongues.