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CTLLSM demands fund allocation for tribal languages education
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, October 27 2018: Council of Tribal Languages and Literature Societies, Manipur (CTLLSM) has, once again, demanded "allocation of fund in the State's Budget for tribal languages education" .

In a memorandum submitted to Chief Minister N Biren Singh today, the CTLLSM said that "all the 35 indigenous languages of Manipur have become endangered languages in Manipur due to absence of State's patronage.

"The indigenous languages of Manipur are the mosaic for State integrity and common future for all communities of Manipur," the Council said.

According to the CTLLSM, there is no fund at all for tribal language education in the State's Budget of Manipur "Now, we are bringing our long standing grievances to your good-self that, there are 35 tribal languages in Manipur, of which 18 languages have been approved for introduction in school education system as MILs (Modern Indian Language subjects)," the memorandum said.

The approved languages are Anal, Gangte, Hmar, Kom, Liangmai, Mao, Maram, Maring, Mizo, Paite, Poumei, Ruangmei, Simte, Tangkhul, Thadou-Kuki, Vaiphei, Zeme and Zou.

"However, the unfortunate fact is that there is no fund earmarked for these approved languages," the memorandum further said, adding, "Approval of a language for education system is supposed to earmark necessary fund for development of textbooks and their production".

The CTLLSM then said that fund should be allocated under Plan and Non-plan with both recurring and non-recurring expenditures for continuity of the language.

"However, there is no fund earmarked for tribal languages in the State's Budgets of Education Sectors, Language Directorate, BOSEM, COHSEM, SCERT, etc.

Therefore, tribal language groups are facing merciless situations at the face of the State apathy or unconcerned towards tribal languages in the State of Manipur," it added.

It then alleged that Tribal Research Institute (TRI)'s fund was totally cut with the coming of the new Government in the State.

"Even the meagre fund of the TRI was totally cut with the coming of the new Govcernment in the State.

The Tribal Research Institute, Imphal used to extend some sort of financial assistance for printing of approved tribal language school textbooks since some years back.

During the regime ofthe previous State Government, there was TRI's fund for printing of school text books of tribal languages to the tune of 16.00 lakhs and it proposed to Rs.20.00 lakhs in the TRI Budget of 2017-18 at 50:50 Centre and State shares.

But even this meagre fund has also been totally cut with the coming of the new State Government in 2017," the memorandum pointed out.

"It is not a question of 100 crores of rupees.

It is only for 3.20 crores, only the cost of a culvert or a village community hall, for all the 35 tribal languages of Manipur (both approved and unapproved).

If the State Government has a will, it would never be a burden at all to the State.

A statement of proposed Budget/annual requirement of Fund for tribal languages is enclosed herewith," it also said.

The CTLLSM then said that there is no fund at all for the education of tribal languages in the State.

"Therefore, tribal students are going to face serious shortage of school text books in the years to come.

Due to shortage of tribal language school textbooks, some students are using xerox copy of the school textbook of their language," it added.

According to the Council, the literature societies of tribal languages are caught in dilemma whether to continue tribal languages in the school education system in Manipur or to stop them from learning in the schools, "because the literature societies alone cannot support their languages in the school education system without State patronage".

The CTLLSM said mat the tribal languages are the identity, aspiration and future of the tribal communities of Manipur.

"Therefore, it is our most humble and earnest prayer to your honourable-self that proper fund be earmarked for tribal language education in the State Budget of either TRI or Directorate of Language Planning & Implementation," it appealed.


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