Lakhimpur to get language research centre

GUWAHATI: Asom Sahitya Sabha will soon take a step ahead in furthering the cause of local languages with the inauguration of a new study and research centre at Bihpuria in Lakhimpur on June 1 this year. The centre, which is named after Lumber Dai, the noted litterateur from Arunachal Pradesh, will facilitate detailed studies on regional languages, mainly Assamese and other ethnic languages and dialects of the region.

During the inaugural function on June 1, the Lumber Dai Memorial Literary Award will be conferred on the well-known folk litterateur and researcher of folk culture from the northeast, Basanta Das.

"The research centre will offer all possible facilities for higher studies, including PhDs; the courses will be affiliated to Gauhati and Dibrugarh universities. The study material for the courses has been finalized," said the secretary of the apex literary body, Poromananda Rajbonshi, adding the centre's doors are open to anybody living in the state, the country and even for those outside India who want to study and research the languages of Assam. He further said the hard copies of the study material would be provided through post and the same would also be uploaded on the website for the researchers.

Besides, the centre would also facilitate research on other northeastern languages. "We are also gathering information on the other languages of the state and the region. Besides Boro, Mising, Karbi and others, we aim to facilitate research on several languages of the neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh," said Rajbonshi.

He added saving regional languages has become very urgent at the present time. "Many people have stopped speaking their mother tongues. Several languages have become extinct or are on the verge of disappearing," he said. Meanwhile, the apex literary body of the state is taking several steps to bridge the cultural gap between Assam and other states.

"Asom Sahitya Sabha has initiated the translation of the 25 best Oriya stories and 50 best poems. I think this is a great way to bridge the cultural gap between the two states," said Chandan Sharma, an official at the sabha. He added several others initiatives are also being taken.