Second day of ‘Samvaad 2015’ witnesses overwhelming response
Tata Steel, since inception, has endeavored for the welfare and growth of tribal communities in and around its areas of operation. In continuation with its commitment towards the indigenous society, Tata Steel is organizing Samvaad - A Tribal Conclave. The conclave is being organised by Tata Steel's Tribal Cultural Society, the arm which works extensively for the tribal welfare, preservation and promotion of tribal culture and heritage.
The second day of Samvaad was marked by panel discussions at Chintan, a dome, with eminent panelists discussing issues related to 'The Threatened Tribal languages'. The discussion witnessed participation from eminent academicians, thought leaders and activists from across India. The first session was moderated by Dr. Mahindra Kumar Mishra, a folklorist; awarded by the Kalevala Institute, Turku, Finland for translation of Finish epic Kalevala in 2001. In his address, Mr Kumar said, ''A campaign to promote tribal languages has to be undertaken in a big way. We need to learn a lot from old tribal men and women because it is believed an entire library dies with the death of an elderly person.'' Sharing some startling facts on tribal languages across the country, Professor Kanji Patel, in-charge principal of Art College, Lumavada said, "Of the 780 odd languages in our country, there are 200 odd tribal languages. The projects to document and survey languages have been underway for quite some time. There are many languages which still needs recognition." Dr Madan Meena, Visual artist and researcher, Rajasthan said, "Earlier a number of communities in Rajasthan used pictures to adorn their walls of their houses. Today this tradition has faded away and with it the language of pictures."
Speaking on the occasion Mr Ganesh Devy, Padma Shri Awardee, renowned literary critic and founder director of Bhasha Reasearch and Publication Centre, Vadodra said "6,000 languages are alive across the world. In the span of around next 40 years, 4,000 languages will not survive which has been projected by UNESCO. The pace in which we are losing our languages is both shocking and surprising."
The session two was moderated by Professor Prabhat Kumar Singh, Professor, Anthropology, Ranchi University. In his address Mr Singh said "Mystery still veils a number of languages because we are still to connect with the local communities that speak them." Dr Balaram Pandey, Assistant Professor, Department of language and literature, Sikkim University said 'There are certain indigenous languages the need dire attention, Majhi is one of them. During our Research we recently came to know that in Sikkim there is only one speaker of this language. Shri Satish Biruly, Chairman, Institute of Ancient culture of science society, Jhinkpaani said' Instead of blaming the government we should do our bit to promote our local and indigenous languages.
The tribal conclave is witnessing a convergence of more than 1500 tribal artists, thought leaders, eminent personalities and activists from more than 40 different tribes, from across 25 states in the country - Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.