Govt’s focus: Restoration of 520 vulnerable languages
Having lost 220 Indian languages in the past 50 years, the government has woken up to the challenge of restoring the country’s linguistic heritage.The Ministry of Human Resource Development has identified 520 highly vulnerable languages for preservation and is working on a war footing to restore 70 in the first phase of the project to bring the endangered languages back into spoken use. Most of these languages are the ones that less than 10,000 people speak on an average.HRD Minister Smriti Irani today told Parliament that work is also under progress to translate the literature of several endangered Indian languages in other mediums to ensure their continuity. The minister said the national e-library project was on track and it would digitise rare manuscripts and books for posterity. The e- library will additionally work on vanishing languages.The government’s response came on an intervention from BJP’s first-time member Poonam Mahajan who demanded clarity on whether the National Translation Mission under the HRD Ministry launched in 2008 was working on preserving the fragile literary heritage of the country.