A research institute run by the Jharkhand government has organised a week-long workshop in Ranchi this month for training and guiding tribal youths who are interested in pursuing creative writing.
"Like many other fields, the tribals should also make their presence felt in creative writing. Prompted by this idea, we have planned the workshop. It will be held on our premises from June 15 to 22 and will accommodate about 100 participants who are aged between 21 and 35 years," Ranendra Kumar, director of Dr Ram Dayal Munda Tribal Welfare Research Institute, said.
The institute is popularly known by its earlier name Tribal Research Institute or TRI.
Many tribal youths have now taken up writing and their articles are also being published but they could do much better if they get proper guidance, Kumar said, explaining the reason for holding such a workshop.
"Creative writing is different from normal writing as it requires a mix of memory and imagination, besides a dream to pursue," Kumar, a well-known Hindi writer who bagged many prestigious literary awards, further said.
The institute has invited many writers from across the country who will teach the nuances of creative writing to the participants of the workshop.
The experts will teach the participants the style and techniques of writing in different genres such as short stories, novels, biographies, memoirs, plays, and scripts for films and documentaries at the workshop and will also guide them on how to write those, Kumar informed.
The TRI has published notices in local newspapers inviting applications from interested youths belonging to any tribe residing in Jharkhand, saying those who have already got their write-ups published would be given preference.
"Preference will also be given to youths belonging to particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) and those living in the far-flung areas of the state," Kumar said, adding they would accommodate the first 100 applicants provided they are found eligible and would also offer them required hospitality.
The TRI would also run a parallel workshop with some of the participants who are specially interested in studying films, plays and documentaries and translating from other languages.
"We have asked the applicants to mention if they are interested in these," Kumar said, adding they have also invited some translators, playwrights and documentary filmmakers to conduct the parallel workshop.
Scopes for earning also increases for those who get skilled in these genres, the TRI director said. "There was also a need for competent translators who can help introduce good literary creations of a language to those speaking other languages," he added.
The TRI has been encouraging research on tribal matters since its inception in 1953. During his tenure as its director, Kumar also organised a three-day international seminar on tribal philosophy in Ranchi in January 2020 that attempted to reconstruct the indigenous belief system and philosophy from available legends, folklore and other ritualistic and organisational elements.
The institute also organised a five-day national workshop on folk paintings in the sylvan surroundings of Netarhat in February 2020 when folk painters from across the country assembled, interacted among themselves and also worked side by side.