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42 Indian languages heading towards extinction

42 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction as only few thousand people speak them. According to report of Census Directorate, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in country, which are spoken by large number of people — one lakh or more.

There 42 languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people.  A list prepared by UNESCO also has mentioned them as critically endangered languages. The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore is working for protection and preservation of these languages under central scheme Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India

42 endangered languages or dialects include

States Endangered languages
Andaman and Nicobar Islands (11) Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang.
Manipur (7) Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao.
Himachal Pradesh (4) Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi.
Odisha (3) Manda, Parji and Pengo.
Karnataka (2) Koraga and Kuruba.
Andhra Pradesh (2) Gadaba and Naiki.
Tamil Nadu (2) Kota and Toda.
Arunachal Pradesh (2) Mra and Na.
Assam (2) Tai Nora and Tai Rong.
Uttarakhand (1) Bangani.
Jharkhand (1) Birhor.
Maharashtra (1) Nihali.
Meghalaya (1) Ruga.
West Bengal (1) Toto.

Background

According UNESCO, promoting idea of language is an inalienable cultural right. It has already built it into charter of sustainable development goals (SGDs). India is a formal signatory to charter.  It is the state’s obligation to secure and protect the community’s right to its language.

From 1971 onwards, the Census is disclosing names only of those languages which have more than 10,000 speakers. It has resulted decline in list of languages to 108 languages in 1971 Census, as against the 1,652 a decade ago. The 2001 language data from Census have mixed list of 22 scheduled languages and hundred other languages. The 2011 Census data have been not disclosed yet.

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Home Ministry organises Watan Ko Jano programme

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had recently organized Youth Exchange Programme- Watan Ko Jano programme. Under it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met youth of Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi. Around 200 youth from state visited different places of country as part of the programme.

Watan Ko Jano

The programme is sponsored jointly by Ministry of Home Affairs, Central Government (Kashmir Cell) and J&K State Rehabilitation Council Social Welfare Department. It aims to give exposure to youth and children of J&K about the cultural and socio-economic development taking place in other parts of country. Youth and children hit by militancy and from weaker sections from J&K are selected for the programme.

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