Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Saturday said that the Government will support research, development and promotion of local languages by providing financial assistance to scholars, writers and authors.

Addressing the Babu Hajom Kissor Sing Memorial Lecture in Shillong, the Chief Minister said, “In our endeavour to promote the Khasi and Garo languages, we should all come together as a society to promote our own culture and language.”

He said that the Government has been continuously engaging with the centre to include Khasi and Garo in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

He said the documentation of culture and language is important, and the state government will come up with a special programme to support writing and research that aims to promote the local language and culture of our people.

“We are giving shape to the policy and sufficient funds will be made available for research to those keen to write about different aspects of our society, our people and our leaders. The idea for this being that our younger generation should be able to learn about our culture and the rich tradition in the local language,” he added.

He also informed that the government would make funds available to filmmakers for creating audio-visual content that promotes our culture and language.

He further informed that the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly is starting an orientation programme on language, wherein MLAs from Garo Hills will be given basic orientation on the Khasi language, while MLAs from Khasi–Jaintia Hills will receive orientation in the Garo language.

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“We want to promote our language and also encourage our leaders to understand each other’s languages,” he added.

He also informed that local languages are being introduced as mandatory subjects for various examinations in the state. “While recognition for our language by its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule is awaited, we don’t want to leave any stone unturned to promote our own language through different interventions in the state,” he added.

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