Arunachal: Centre for Mother Languages Inaugurated at RIWATCH, Khinjili

The Centre is supported by the North Eastern Council, Govt. of India and the Department of Indigenous Affairs, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.

ROING- The RIWATCH Centre for Mother Languages (RCML), a dedicated centre aimed at preserving and promoting linguistic diversity was inaugurated at Khinjili, Roing in Lower Dibang Valley district by Prof. Tomo Riba, Vice Chancellor, Arunachal State University, Pasighat and Sokhep Kri, Director, Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh in the presence of Ista Pulu, President, Idu-Mishmi Cultural & Literary Society (IMCLS), Getom Borang, Chief Engineer, WRD, Padmashri Satyanarayan Mundayoor, Academic Advisor, RIWATCH, dignitaries and guests.

The Centre is supported by the North Eastern Council, Govt. of India and the Department of Indigenous Affairs, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Prof. Riba, in his inaugural address, stressed teaching the children to listen more to learn and understand their mother languages. He also stated that people’s willingness to speak is a major factor to save and transmit one’s dialect/language to new generations.

Appreciating the work done by RIWATCH, he said that the staff of the Centre are seeds to germinate for its greater growth through various activities including research and documentation.

Sokhep Kri, who attended the function as Guest of Honour, emphasised that the bigger responsibility lies with communities to take forward the steps to promote and preserve their mother tongues. Speaking on the wide array of initiatives by DIA, he said that the Centre like RCML is just a beginning towards mother tongue documentation and preservation in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Earlier, Vijay Swami, the Executive Director of RIWATCH, while welcoming dignitaries and guests, introduced the gathering on the initiative to start RCML with the support of NEC, Shillong and DIA, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.

Padmashri Satyanarayan Mundayoor, the Academic Adviser of RIWATCH and Coordinator of the Lohit Youth Library Movement stressed the development of speaking skills among children to better learn their mother languages. He also said the need to have bilingualism as a mass movement in schools, colleges, universities, government offices, etc. to make people learn multiple languages simultaneously.

Prof. S. Simon John, Coordinator, Centre for Endangered Languages (CFEL), AITS, RGU said that the mother tongue is ascribed and gives identity to native speakers and Centres like RCML can be a harbinger for promoting and preserving one’s identity through research and documentation.

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Dr. Lisa Lomdak, Assistant Coordinator, CFEL, AITS, RGU stressed the greater community engagement for the development of pedagogy materials for children in native language dialects/languages. RCML can be an avenue for collaborative projects for developing children’s literature, she added.

Later, an MoU for collaborative projects and publications was signed between Idu-Mishmi Cultural & Literary Society (IMCLS) and RIWATCH Centre for Mother Languages (RMCL).

Dr. Ista Pulu, President of the Idu-Mishmi Cultural & Literary Society (IMCLS) also spoke on the occasion.

The newly recruited research officers presented action plans and visions of the RCML apart from a presentation on various aspects of language documentation.


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