Odia language under threat of extinction on bordering areas

Bhubaneswar/Keonjhar: At a time when the Odisha government is making tall claims over preserving and promoting Odia language, the situation in several bordering areas in the State is totally different. Odia language is fast losing its grip in many villages bordering the neighbouring State of Jharkhand.

In the bordering areas like Seraikela and Kharsuan, close to East and West Singhbhum districts of Jharkhand, Odia language is fading away as teachers here teach students in Hindi due to absence of proper text books in Odia.

“We continue to teach students in Odia by overcoming all hindrances. We only have Odia language with us but not Odia books,” lamented a teacher, Sangeeta Pradhan.

She further said that in the name of books, they are getting only Odia literature books. They have requested Odisha government to take immediate steps to provide them Odia books for all the subjects.

“We are unable to get Odia books. We have to make photo copies of the books available for study. The Odisha government is not at all giving importance to our region. How could Odia language develop in such circumstances? I request the government to make available all the books,” said Nibedita Pradhan, a student.

On the other hand, Utkala Sammilani is trying hard to restore the language in the region and recently invited Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera to the region. After visiting several schools in the bordering areas, the minister also accepted that Odia language is losing its importance in the region due to negligence.

“Students have the interest to study Odia but they are not getting the sufficient help they should be given. Odisha government will take up the matter with the Jharkhand government in future and resolve such issues,” assured Behera.