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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

A tribe apart but caught in the language whirlpool

G.V. Prasada Sarma



PIONEERING SKETCH: A reproduction of the notes of Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy in the Savara bulletin brought out to mark his birth anniversary.

VISAKHAPATNAM: Blame it on the lingo or the lack of it! Schoolteachers' inability to speak Savara and short of knowledge of Telugu of children of this tribe are impeding primary education.

This has been creating problems in educating the Savara children in their language. Savara or Sora is a Girijan language spoken in several parts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts and adjoining Orissa, comprising the erstwhile Ganjam district.

Those belonging to the Savara tribe, who dominate the agency areas of the contiguous districts, communicate among themselves in this language.


Pioneering efforts have been made by Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy Pantulu, who championed the cause of using a language comprehensible to the common man (`vyvaharika') as opposed to the scholastic (`grandhika') use, by bringing out a number of books on Savara language, folklore and songs and dictionaries in international phonetic alphabet from 1912 to 1938.

Savara Bhasha Sangham

A retired reader in Telugu of Government College at Srikakulam, A. Chandrasekhara Rao did his doctoral research on `A descriptive grammar of Sora (Savara) language of Sitampeta mandal.'

He founded the Savara Bhasha Sangham in 2000 to inculcate the habit of writing the language in Telugu script by adults and educated children who could write in Telugu.

``This is part of the endeavour to make them write and spread it among Savaras. Once they are educated and get employment, they are diffident to speak their language and do so only when they go to their villages,'' says Dr. Rao.

Every year a Savara story-writing competition is being conducted to mark the birth anniversary of Ramamurthy Pantulu. But, he regrets the poor response.

To promote Savara language at primary level, the District Primary Education Project has brought out Savara Bharathi and the Tribal Welfare Department a primer for first standard.

Bulletin in honour of Pantulu

Marking Pantulu's birth anniversary this year, the first Savara Bulletin has been brought out. The bulletin, apart from underlining its objectives, carries translation of two stories by Savara youths. One of the stories has been excerpted from the `Sora Folklore' by Pantulu and the other from the research thesis of Dr. Rao.

A wedding song is also published inviting translations and a prize for the best entry.

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