The School of Comparative Tribal Languages and Literatures of KISS-DU celebrated International Mother Language Day on 21st February 2022 in blended mode.  The faculty members and research scholars of different schools participated in the program and made it a huge success.

In his opening remarks, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU said that this day is observed to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism at KISS.  He added, KISS-DU, being a University of distinction, protects, preserves and promotes tribal languages, cultures and heritage.  Professor Behera also appreciated the efforts of the School of Comparative Tribal Languages and Literatures to observe this day and said, this is going to be a unique celebration of its kind as the students and research scholars will speak on the occasion in different languages like Ho, Kissan, Santhal and Mundari.

Addressing the virtual gathering, Dr Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU said, “The whole fraternity of KISS-DU is elated to listen to the students speak in their mother tongues: Ho, Santhal, Mundari and Kissan.  The onus of keeping the dying languages alive lies on the youth’s shoulders. The research scholars should take proactive steps in this regard by pursuing research in their languages and sharing the knowledge with the world. Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KISS & KIIT has always given emphasis to the Mother Tongue based teaching pedagogy for the tribal students studying at KISS and this is how the Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) Programme was initiated in 2013, hence becoming a Resource Centre with an aim to optimize and consolidate learnings in mother tongue-based Early Childhood Education.”

Sharing the belief of the Founder, Dr Routray added that pedagogy is crucial while dealing with young children in their formative years and KISS has become a model to teach the students in their mother language in the early stages of education with a gradual move to learn the other languages.

Dr Kanhu Charan Mahali, Director General, KISS-DU and Chairperson, Tribal Advisory Council (TAC), KISS-DU spoke in Santhali language and translated to Odia later. Dr Mahali said that KISS is a unique institution that celebrates various occasions and all the stakeholders get the opportunity to be a part of the celebrations. With this, he urged all the students and research scholars who are all from the tribal background to be multi-dimensional and act as change agents, and at the same time preserve the mother language and cultural diversity which are on the verge of extinction.

PG, M. Phil and PhD. Scholars of KISS-DU: Ms Rabati Singh (M.Phil Scholar), Mr Dual Bankira (PhD Scholar), Mr Sushanta Kumar Kisan (M.Phil Scholar), Mr Mangal Munda (PG 1st Year), Mr Shyamlal Marndi (PhD Scholar) and Ms Rashmi Murmu (PhD Scholar) shared their feelings in their mother tongues (Ho, Santhal, Mundari and Kissan) on this important occasion and expressed concern over the gradual extinction of indigenous languages.

Professors Ashok Kumar Mohapatra, Sr. Professor, English Programme, KISS-DU also shared his feelings on the occasion.

Speaking in turn, Dr Sushree Sangita Mohanty, Assistant Professor, KISS-DU shared the guidelines issued by UNESCO on ways of learning about the status of languages. While addressing the research scholars, she urged the need for researching on dying languages. She also shared some statistical details of surveys conducted in various languages across the globe. Dr Chittaranjan Bhoi, Vice-Principal, KISS and one of the teaching faculty in the English Programme elaborated on the fact that mother language is very important and since the very childhood, one gets familiar with the mother language as s/he first learns it from the parents. Ms Sundhanshu Bala Sahoo, Hindi Program moderated the event, Dr. Rasmita Tripathy, Dean, School of Tribal Languages and Literatures proposed the vote of thanks.