26 July, 2021

She's A Professor And, For Her Tribe, The Keeper Of A Way Of Life

She's A Professor And, For Her Tribe, The Keeper Of A Way Of Life

Among the Kharia tribals of Jharkhand, she's a veritable Mahashweta Devi. Someone who's fighting untiringly for their empowerment and the preservation and development of their language and culture. Professor Rose Kerketta - the lone Kharia woman activist in the region - is the only teacher of Kharia language in the post-graduate department of Ranchi University. And it was due to her efforts that Kharia was introduced in the department of tribal and regional languages in the university.

Kharia is one of the five tribal groups residing in the tribal areas of Bihar, Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. "Earlier, while there was a provision for the study of all the other four (Mundari, Kurukh, Santhal and Ho) tribal languages in the university, Kharia was not included. So, being a Kharia tribal I tried to fight for it and the language was subsequently introduced in 1982 and since then I'm teaching the language single-handedly," says the professor. Now, Rose teaches the grammar and importance of Kharia language and literature to the 40 students in her department. But her...

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