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Santhali meet to see global experts


Jamshedpur, Nov. 6: The steel city would host the 4th International Santhal Conference, which would witness participation of more than 1,200 delegates from across the globe, at Tata Auditorium on December 6.

The conference is being held after a gap of 13 years and would discuss the ways to uplift the Santhal culture, language and literature.

Organisers of the conclave International Santhal Council (ISC) said Santhali scholars and experts on tribals welfare across the globe have been invited to place their views. Scholars and experts from UK, Bangladesh, Nepal, USA and other European and African countries would enlighten the audience to preserve the culture and heritage.

Fagu Soren, the general secretary of ISC, said the Santhals are the largest tribal community in India found mainly in the states of Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and Orissa. “The last international conferences were also organised at Nepal in 1993. After 1995, we failed to organise such conferences due to death of our founder general secretary Baijnath Soren. We have now decided to start these conference to discuss issues on Santhal welfare,” said Soren.

“Most of the delegates would be from Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal and Assam as these states boast of a large Santhali population. However, Santhals residing in other parts of the world have also been invited at the conference. Politicians, scholars, administrative officials and intellectuals of the community would try to uplift the community through their work,” said a member of ISC.

Members of the ISC said that popularising the language and literature of Santhals would be the main topic of deliberation in two-day conference. They said that lot needs to be done to popularise the Santhali script or Ol Chiki among the tribals across the country.

“The conference would also deal with how to promote the culture and study on the community,” said Soren.

The proposed international conference would provide a platform for sharing experience, methods and models of analysis with the purpose of restructuring the knowledge base. It would help in developing an integrated, holistic database that would be of help to scholars who want to study the community. The international conference would also coincide with Santhali Language Day that is observed on December 21.
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