A civil society organisation ‘Samaj Andolan, Odisha’ came out in a procession starting from Ram Mandir Square to Master Canteen here demanding wide use of Odia language in official and private office works in the state. They later conducted a meeting at Lower PMG on the promotion of Odia language.
Kanhu Charan Behura, secretary of Samaj Andolan, Odisha, said they have launched ‘Odia Jagaran Jatra’ to sensitize people about the need of using mother tongue and promoting it in each field. “We will visit every nook and corner of the state to understand the importance of Odia language. We will make it a movement because Odisha was created on the basis of language,” he added.
Utkal Sammilani, which had played a key role in creation of separate Odisha province, has conducted a seminar here expressing concern over the sorry state of affairs in border and cut-off areas. “People staying in other states and in border areas could not get a chance to get higher education in Odia language. These people should get help to choose Odia as a medium of instructions in schools and higher educational institutions,” said Dillip Dash Sharma of this organisation.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had put emphasis on having at least one medical college and a technical institution imparting education in the local language in each state. Experts have mixed responses on this thought of the PM.
Sunil Kumar Sarangi, former director of National Institute of Technology Rourkela, said it is possible to teach in mother tongue in a technical institution. “This initiative should have started in 1947. English medium is not everything. Odias had created architectural marvels like Konark Sun Temple, Jagannath temple Puri, Lingaraj Temple and Mukteswar temple hundreds of years ago by getting education in their mother tongue. We can prepare and publish good engineering books in Odia and teach our students in this language,” he added.
Sonamali Bag, former director of medical education and training, Odisha, said local language cannot be used as a medium of instructions in medical colleges because it is impossible to translate medical terminologies. “We need trained teachers, nurses and other staff who can teach students in Odia language. We need books in Odia language which is very difficult to find,” he added.