File image of youths taking out a procession in their traditional attire to mark 42nd Kokborok Day in Agartala

Agartala: Keeping the promise that he made last year, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb delivered his speech in the native Kokborok language on the occasion of 42nd Kokborok Day in Agartala on Sunday.

Speaking at the event, Deb said that anyone can learn any language if they accept it by heart — one just needs to develop such a mentality. In Tripura, of the 32% indigenous population, 29% speak the Kokborok language.

Last year, during the 41st Kokborok Day programme at the Umakata mini stadium in Agartala, Deb — a non-tribal minister had promised that he would deliver his next speech in Kokborok.

“Being the chief minister, I am happy to address the Kokborok-speaking people in their mother tongue. I prepared the speech only last night,” he said while congratulating the Indigenous people on the auspicious day.

He also announced that the state Cabinet has decided to rename Barmura hill range as ‘Hathai Kotor’.

The state government had already sent a proposal to Centre for sanctioning special package of over Rs 8,000 crore for the development of indigenous people and the proposal is under consideration.

“We have also taken the initiative for more empowerment to the autonomous district council (ADC) — the number of seats to be increased from 30 to 50 (including six nominated) along with 42 departments,” Deb added.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb flagging off a procession on the occasion of 42nd Kokborok Day in Agartala on Sunday

Earlier, Kokborok subject was taught in 94 senior basic, 52 madhyamik and 20 higher secondary schools. Now, the numbers have increased to 139, 100 and 41, respectively,” Deb said adding that the state government had declared 12 tribal-dominated backward blocks as “aspirational blocks”.

Apart from this, the state government is working in every sector — healthcare, education, and Infrastructure for the development of indigenous people.

“When we shall go to the people before 2023 elections, we shall present a report card of development. If people are satisfied, they will vote for us,” Deb said.

Later, the chief minister also took part in a colourful rally that showcased the rich heritage and culture of the indigenous people amid participation of a large number of youths.

Revenue minister NC Debbarma, education minister Ratan Lal Nath, tribal welfare minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, social education and social welfare minister Santana Chakma and many others were also present in the programme.

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