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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 21 February: WEST Bengal government has decided to extend official recognition to Kurukh and Rajbongshi languages.

Kurukh is spoken by the Oraon Adivasi people living in Birbhum-Bankura-Purulia-Midnapore belt and the tea garden regions in north Bengal. Rajbongshi or Kamtapuri is spoken by the aboriginals of north Bengal, especially those from Cooch Behar.

Speaking at a ceremony on the International Mother Language Day in the city evening, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her government has decided to extend official recognition to the two languages that are spoken by a substantial number of people in Bengal and elsewhere.

“Kurukh is spoken by around 16-lakh Oraon people and a sizeable number of them live in West Bengal. United Nations has identified Kurukh as an engendered language. Like Nepali, Ol Chiki, we have now decided to accord official status to Kurukh as well,” she said.

“I am aware of the demand from north Bengal for recognition of Rajbongshi / Kamtapuri language. Hence, we have formed a committee headed by respected Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri which will finalise the script and syllabus for Rajbongshi language,” the Chief Minister said.

The recognition of Kurukh and Rajbongshi languages by the state government would facilitate imparting of education in state-government run schools. Also, the two languages can be used in official works in those areas in the state where the Oraon and Rajbongshi people live.