Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, recently unveiled the Santhali-Odia-English dictionary, which was published by the Academy of Tribal Languages and Culture (ATLC) at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar. This milestone also marked the launch of 21 additional textbooks for primary classes in languages like Soura, Kui, Kuvi, Gondi, and Munda.
During the event, Chief Minister Patnaik expressed his belief that this dictionary would contribute to the enrichment of the Santhali language and foster interest in learning it among a wider audience. The additional primary textbooks are expected to be valuable resources for students in these tribal languages.
The Chief Minister extended his gratitude to the Santhali linguists, researchers, and the ATLC for their dedicated efforts in this endeavor. Notably, the Santhali dictionary was prepared by the esteemed Santhali linguist, Chaitanya Prasad Majhi, with the collaboration of other linguists in the field. Santhali is recognized in the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The government is actively working to expand its efforts beyond Santhali and intends to publish dictionaries in various other tribal languages. Furthermore, the department is diligently preparing additional primary textbooks in 11 tribal languages, which will be accessible online to promote interest and awareness in tribal literature and culture.
To support the promotion of tribal languages, the government is planning to introduce certificate courses in these languages and establish Language Labs in every district. These initiatives aim to facilitate further research into tribal language literature and culture.
The program also featured the presence of 5T Secretary VK Pandian and insights from ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Minister Jagannath Saraka on the government’s initiatives for tribal language, literature, and culture promotion. Departmental Commissioner-cum-Secretary Roopa Roshan Sahoo delivered the welcome address, while Indramani Tripathi, Director of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI), offered the vote of thanks. Santhali linguist Chaitanya Prasad Majhi and representatives of Kui, Kuvi, Gondi, and Munda tribes were notable participants in this program.