Penned in the tribal heartland, read by the entire world.
Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar on Sunday, in association with the All India Tribal Book Sellers’ & Publishers’ Forum, announced that they were in talks with some software developers for setting up of a website that can be used by tribal writers to upload and promote their work.
According to sources, the plans for putting in place such a website was mooted in September last year when the All India Tribal Book Sellers’ & Publishers’ Forum organised a three-day book fair primarily to boost the morale of rural writers and give them an exposure among the young generation.
“We are soon going to launch a website exclusively for tribal writers. Till now, we had primarily been involved in organising book fairs and small functions to promote tribal languages that saw limited participation. However, with MP Ajoy Kumar’s guidance, we now want to open up and want the world to read us,” said Mangal Manjhi, president of All India Tribal Book Sellers’ & Publishers’ Forum.
He added that the idea, initially at least is to upload writings and literature in three languages — Santhali, Ho and Khurukh.
“There are very few people who read the tribal languages. Hence, in order to preserve it the literature and culture of such indigenous tongues need to be promoted to a wider audience worldwide,” a source said. There are about four Santhali authors who have received the Sahitya Akademi Award in the last few years.
The website, Manjhi said, will have three different portals for different languages.
“We will have the Santhali and Ho uni codes to include the Ol chiki script in the website so that there are no problems. Initially we want to upload the scanned copies of the works by various tribal writers. But a final decision in this regard will be taken later. The portal should be up by next month,” Manjhi said.
The All India Tribal Book Sellers’ & Publishers’ Forum, which participated in the New Delhi World Book Fair, also has decided to publish Santhali and other text books that are prescribed by various universities to ease student woes.