ITDA gears up to preserve Adivasi languages

The task of preparing a three-month course for primary level kids was undertaken by the ITDA in association with the Tribal Cultural Research and Training Institute (TCR&TI) in this current academic year.

By Author  |  James Edwin  |  Published: 13th Feb 2019  12:05 amUpdated: 13th Feb 2019  12:31 am
ITDA
ITDA PO Pamela Satpathy looks at ‘Koya Watchakam’, a textbook for Koya students.

Bhadrachalam (Kothagudem): Adivasi children studying in 181 government primary schools under the limits of ITDA, Bhadrachalam, are now able to learn to read and write in their own mother-tongue, Koya. The same is the case with Lambada kids who are learning Banjara language in 40 primary schools located in different parts of erstwhile Khammam district where the Lambada population is high.

This painstaking task has become possible due to the efforts of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA),which initiated, promoted and preserved the local tribals’ mother tongue, both Koya and Banjara.

The task of preparing a three-month course for primary level kids was undertaken by the ITDA in association with the Tribal Cultural Research and Training Institute (TCR&TI) in this current academic year.

CDs, books prepared
Experts and teachers, who are conversant with the aboriginal languages,prepared the compact discs(CD) and textbooks by transcribing the songs and rhymes of Koya dialect using Telugu script as both the aboriginal languages lack a script.The textbooks ‘KoyaWatchakam’ and ‘Banjara Watchakam’ were released in Dec 2018 and the CDs titled ‘Girijana Bala Geyalu’ released last month. As the result, the tribal kids in erstwhile Khammam and parts of Bhupalpally and Mahabubabad districts are studying in their mother tongue.

“What we intended to achieve with this initiative is to promote cognitive language skills in Adivasi children at primary school level itself enabling them to speak, read and write in their tongue” the ITDA PO Satpathy said.

She further informed that about 1200 textbooks in Koya language and 300 books in Banjara language were printed and distributed among the schools. The three-month course which began in Dec 2018 will be completed in March.

At present, as many as 20 School Complex Resource Persons (SCRPs) are engaged in monitoring the process of teaching in Koya and Banjara languages to tribal children, Satpathy noted.

‘This initiative augurs well to conserve the traditional folk tales, songs and idioms and carry them forward to future generations as the United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages(IYIL),” opined an Adivasi teacher Payam Venkat Rathnam.