Today in Baripada, the 36th Annual Conference and Literary Festival of the All India Santali Writers’ Association was inaugurated with the presence of Droupadi Murmu, the President of India. In his remarks, the President expressed gratitude to authors and scholars for their contributions to Santhali literature and language. She was grateful that since its founding in 1988, the All India Santali Writers’ Association has worked to promote the Santhali language.
She pointed out that since Santhali was added to the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution on December 22, 2003, there has been a rise in its use in both government and non-government sectors. On this occasion, she recalled the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose term saw the inclusion of Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule.
The majority of Santhali literature, according to the President, is preserved orally. In addition to creating the Ol Chiki script, Pandit Raghunath Murmu also wrote plays such as “Bidu Chandan,” “Kherwal Bir,” “Darege Dhan,” and “Sido- Kanhu – Santhal Hool,” which further enhanced the Santhali language. She emphasized how numerous Santhali writers are contributing to the richness of Santhali literature.
She expressed pride in the fact that Damayanti Besra and Kali Pada Saren, also referred to as Kherwal Saren, will receive Padma Shri awards in 2020 and 2022, respectively, for their contributions to literature and education. The President described writers as observant social watchdogs. By their work, they educate and direct society. Numerous writers paved the way for our country’s movement during the war for independence.
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