Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Feb 21:
Jnanpith Award winner Dr Sitakanta Mohapatra on Friday lamented the fact tribal areas get a raw deal when it comes to getting the benefits of welfare schemes.
Inaugurating the two-day Tribal Art and Literature Festival organised by ‘Sikshasandhan’ to mark the International Mother Tongue Day at the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) here, Mohapatra said block level officials, used to the comforts of the plains, find it difficult to serve in these areas while the general apathy towards tribal people ensures that they are deprived of their rightful dues.
“The Government should pay particular attention to communication channels (roads), building of houses and schools and effective implementation of other developmental schemes in tribal dominated areas,” Dr Mahapatra added.
Dr Mahapatra, who is an acknowledged expert on tribal life and culture, said, “Even though constitutional commitments are in place, due attention has not been paid by the state government to preservation, promotion and utilisation of the language and culture of tribal communities in the process of education and development”. “It has been observed that story-tellers, singers, artists, musicians enrich tribal society in many ways; but few attempts have been made to collect and preserve their songs, riddles, games and paintings,” he added.
Different sessions were organised during the two-day event in which experts will speak on subjects like literature, language, culture, education, script, story-telling, songs, music, dance, tribal art and craft of tribals.
Sikshasandhan, a resource centre for education working in the field of education of tribal communities, has been organising the festival to mark the International Mother Tongue Day on February 21 every year since 1995.
Among others, Prof Jatindra Kumar Nayak, Anil Pradhan and Sangram Jena, all members of Sikshasandhan spoke on the occasion.