The President, who is on a two-day Mayurbhanj visit, graced the All India Santali Writer's Meet today. She was given a grand reception by locals and government officers amid tribal dance and beating of drums.
The President thanked the Santali writers for promoting the language.
Speaking on the occasion, she remembered that during her stint as a Minister in the Odisha government, she had taken the initiative to include Santali in the Constitution.
The President said Santali was included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution on December 22, 2003, because of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"The Santali language was recognized as a result of the Vajpayee government's efforts. As in other Indian languages, writers of Santali language got national recognition. This trend continues in the Modi government as well. Damayanti Besra in 2020 and Kalipad Soren in 2022 have received the Padma Shri for education and literature," remembered the President.
Stating that climate change is now the biggest challenge for the entire humanity and tribals' way of life is a solution to it, the President called upon the Santali writers to depict the societal life of tribals in their writings.
She also stressed on promotion of children's literature in Santali and all other languages.
Following the Santali Literature Fest, President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the Eklabya Model School at Kuliana in the district. In her address, she thanked the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for establishing such a school, which plays an important role in the education of children in tribal areas.
Governor Raghubar Das, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Minister Vishweswar Tudu, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's representative Jagannath Saraka were present in this meeting.
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