Madhya Pradesh: A calendar that revived Gondi dialect

  • Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Dindori
  • Updated: May 03, 2015 15:01 IST

A calendar published in Gondi script played a vital role in reviving the ancient dialect of the Gond community of Baghelkhand and Bundelkhand.

Ten years ago a group of people of the Gond community had formed a group called Gondwana Mahasabha to preserve the Gondi language in their region.

There are 10 to15 members in each Gond-dominated district of Madhya Pradesh and other neighbouring states.

The group initially organised programmes in the villages of the region and started a workshop by pooling money to make the tribals aware about their language and tradition.

The calendar was first published during the process.

Slowly its demand grew amongst the Gond community people across India and in Bundelkhand region it became the vital source behind the dialect’s revival.

The designer and the man behind the calendar Hari Marawai said that the dialect, which was on the verge of extinct, now is getting revived.

“I started this calendar as the symbol of Gond history in 1999 and since then this calendar has played a very important role in the region,” said Marawai.

The calendar carries descriptions of each and every tradition of the Gond community and the rituals and how they are to be performed.

“We were unaware of many of the traditions which were in Gondi culture. We have learnt many things including extinct words from this calendar,” said Sukhsen Singh, a resident of Dindori.

The calendar is circulated in many districts including Dindori, Mandala, Soeni, Chhindwara, Katni, Sidhi, Singaruli and Anoopur.

“A total of 30,000 calendars are sold in Madhya Pradesh in one year and about 7,000 to other parts of the country including West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. There is huge demand of this calendar across the country,” said Marawai.

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