A group of artistes from seven states have come together with one mission-- to save one of India’s most ancient tribal languages Gondi.
In an initiative to revive and standardise Gondi language, one of the oldest languages spoken in the country, a group of artistes, linguists and scholars from seven different states have compiled a dictionary.
The dictionary which will contain more than 2800 words of Gondi language would be soon sent for printing. They are expected to be released on November 28 this year.
A team of 65 members from seven different states Andhra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Karnataka is working for more than a year to compile entire vocabulary containing all the Gondi words used prominently by people in communication.
“Gondi language which is considered to be one of the oldest languages is spoken in seven states of the country for decades. But no steps were taken to standardise the language because of which it was getting extinct. Last year in a meeting held in Delhi senior leaders of Gond tribe decided to take effective steps to save the language and started conducting workshops for compiling Gondi vocabulary”, said Basant Kavde one of the artists of the team.
“Our team visited villages of Gond tribes to know and revive those words of Gondi language which are getting extinct are rarely used these days. It took us more than a year to compile a dictionary. Now we are making efforts to include it in syllabus of primary classes especially in those areas where Gond population is prominent”, said Gulzar Singh Markam, one of the members of the team and general secretary of Gondwana Gantantra Party.
He said some primary classes in Gond dominating areas of Telangana and Chhattisgarh are teaching Gondi language to children but Madhya Pradesh government was yet to start such initiatives.
The team has also written a letter to home minister to introduce Gondi language in school syllabus so that an ancient language can be saved from extinction.
“People of other tribes also speak Gondi in Madhya Pradesh. Many universities are also supporting our cause to save the language. We want future generations to learn Gondi along with Hindi and English,” he said.
All about Gondi language
Gondwana was once a powerful tribal kingdom spread over six states of modern India. Gondi was official language of the kingdom, which got lost over a period of time. Gond is an important and the largest tribe of India. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have their largest concentrations.