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

Novel attempt to save Banjara culture

Staff Reporter


Sri Thulja Bhavani Primary School to teach the language to those who want to learn

The script uses English language alphabet, with ample modifications in pronunciation


HYDERABAD: Quite many areas of the city bear their name, yet the Banjara tribe is on the verge of losing its identity to the widespread homogenisation of culture.

In a novel attempt to prevent that, the Bapu Nagar Banjara Welfare Association on Sunday inaugurated the Sri Thulja Bhavani Primary School to teach the language to those who want to learn.

The effort is towards development of the language and promulgation of the new-found script. “Canvassing within the community against social evils and a few diseases is becoming difficult for us due to lack of script. Now that we have the script, we thought of disseminating it through classroom learning,” said R.D. Dasarath Naik, the Working President of the Association.

Script

The script uses English language alphabet, with ample modifications in pronunciation.

Developed in 2006 by Chilukuri Amara Varaprasad, the script is claimed to be very simple to learn.

Given enough patronage, it is expected to revive the language among 60 lakh members of the tribe across the State before making nationwide impact.

“Due to modern education, people from the latest generation are forgetting the language. Let alone the script, they can not even speak it properly. Our attempt hopefully restores the lost glory to the language,” says V.Ravikumar, a member of the Association.

Plans are afoot to start similar schools in various locations of the city and outside where the Banjaras are in high numbers, said Mr.Naik.

About 20 people in the city, including students and professionals, have been trained to use the script and their help will be sought to run the classes.

Weekly classes will be conducted in the Anganwadi Centre of Bapunagar every Sunday. About 12 students have joined the school on the first day.

“The Banjara tribe, originating from Rajasthan, is also known as ‘Lambada’ and ‘Sugali’ in many parts here. These are basically Rajputs who refused to obey the Mughal rule and escaped to different parts of the country. They have been preserving their culture through the language so far,” points out Mr. Varaprasad.

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