UNESCO looks to set up fund to promote ancient and tribal languages across the globe

The United Nations is looking to set up a multi-donor fund to revitalise, preserve and promote ancient and tribal languages across the globe, including ancient Indian languages such as Prakrit, Pali and Sharda among others. The International Decade of Indigenous Languages programme by UNESCO has launched a task force, co-chaired by Ramesh Gaur, Head of Kalanidhi Division at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and director, the National School of Drama, that aims to translate these languages, including other indigenous ones from across the world, to more accessible modern ones to preserve and promote them. The fund will be available to communities and non-governmental organisations. According to Mr Gaur, who co-chaired the eighth meeting of the task force in December, a new action plan will be implemented by all member countries.

UNESCO established the global task force for making a Decade of Action for Indigenous Languages on March 22, 2021. The members include Canada, Iceland, Norway, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Australia, India, Thailand, Gambia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Gaur said that there are nearly 1,700 languages in India, out of which there is no data for 949 languages. The fund set up by the UN can be utilised for the digital archiving of the lost languages.

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